Personal Experiences of Surgery

This site is all about sharing information; here we include real experiences of surgery. We want to hear from people who have undergone bariatric procedures who are willing to tell how it has changed their life – for good or bad. These experiences are an informative source only and Big Matters does not endorse any procedure or surgeon. These comments are those of the individual only, surgery will always carry risks and you should discuss these with your consultant after initial consultation with your GP. We look forward to adding your experiences pre or post op or just thinking about it, you can also contribute by writing a blog for the site


Gastric Sleeve - my story by L

Bariatric operation how good is it??
Hello I’m a 40 years old woman that has had my gastric sleeve at the age of 38 and I have lost 35kg in one year. I bet you are thinking great that what I need…..
I was mortally obese from the age of 20 all I could get  from my doctor was you have to lose weight  I tried but I never managed to lose weight or if I managed to lose a few pounds I would put it right back, I tried every diet, pills you name it I’ve tried it. I was always depressed and my doctor referred me to a bariatric operation I was happy finally I would lose weight. I went on a meeting about all the different operations and I was positive about which one I wanted the gastric sleeve which they remove half of your stomach away….. great.
I always had big portion and exercise very little my food was healthy but just to big portions, there I went on a wait list for my operation I waited 5 years and finally I got the phone call my operation was here. I had to do pre-op diet and then my operation day was here all went well the doctor found I had a hiatus hernia and he repaired at the same time that I had my gastric sleeve. After op I was on 2 months liquid diet, my recovery went ok with some pains but it was quite normal. When I was aloud food as normal my portions were very very small if I had a bit too much I would be sick and literally that how is still is im sick 5 out of 7 days a week I get a lot of heart burn and stomach pains.
So have I lost weight yes I have, would I do it again no……
I am more confident, I move around better and I can run with my children’s because I’m lighter, but I’m always sick, tired, can’t go out because I don’t have the energy for anything my job is being affected I fall asleep in the middle of the day and by 7pm I’m ready for bed again.
I was much happier before and had lots of energy I was just very heavy if I could turn back I would and I would do better to lose weight in a healthier way. My advice to all of you out there that think that having a bariatric op is a great idea be prepared is a shock to your life and to your body.


Dr Whymark shares one of her patients viewpoint post Gastric Band

Until I met Gemma* I too, thought that life would be far superior following such surgery and associated weight loss. Gemma was larger than life in all senses of the phrase. She was vivacious, had voluminous hair, was attractively made up, and could talk for Britain. That day I was pleased I had plenty of time to listen.
It was a routine pre-operative visit for an unrelated procedure and I went through my usual questions. Any medical conditions? Any previous anaesthetics or operations?
‘I’ve had a gastric band fitted’, she said.
An empty stomach is vitally important before anaesthesia, to prevent passive regurgitation and aspiration of its contents. I was considering the relevance having a stomach the size of a walnut when she continued
“It’s the worst thing I ever did you know” she paused for the first time during our consultation.
I looked up.
“What is, losing all that weight?”
“No,” she said, “Getting the gastric band put in.”
She had weighed over 20 stones a year ago and was now a mere 13 stones, thanks to her ‘band’ as she called it.
I was surprised by her statement. Many people are much happier having lost such a significant amount of weight. I assumed that everyone would be. Why ever not? My surprise must have shown.
“Oh, it was great at first” she said, “There was a definite high as weight started to come off. The numbers went down, my clothes became too big and the compliments were rolling in. I even persuaded my mum and my sister to go and have a band fitted too. But then it changed”.
“In what way?” I asked, genuinely bewildered and interested to hear.
“Well, I started to become normal.” This was clearly not a positive development for her.
“No-one stares at me in the swimming pool any more, I can now shop in high street rather than from out-sized catalogues, I can talk about diets like everyone else, yet I’m miserable”
“Oh, in what way?” 
“Every way!” she exclaimed and launched into the difficulties she now had.
“I LOVE food and I can’t eat it; the band has left me with no choices. I can’t decide to have a day off the diet or decide to allow myself one chocolate bar; I physically cannot accommodate the food anymore. Socialising and even just going out is difficult. I can’t eat from a buffet, I can’t enjoy a canapé, and I can’t grab a quick sandwich if I’m out shopping at lunch time. I’m restricted to smooth, sloppy, baby like food that will fit through the band. It’s almost impossible to go out for dinner. If I see another bowl of carrot and coriander soup I will be tempted to drown myself in it! I used to be the centre of attention for all sorts of reasons but now I just blend in. I look the same as everyone else; a bit overweight and usually wearing the same party top as at least two other people in the room. I have become completely unremarkable.”
I was stunned by her revelations. I believed a gastric band to be an easy solution to a difficult problem. I believed losing weight would solve more problems than it would create. It seems in life as well as in medicine, things are never that straight forward.
It is easy to forget there are individuals behind the population guidelines. A Body Mass Index of 25 may not be the Holy Grail for the entire overweight population. Morbid obesity undoubtedly carries many great health risks, but so does chronic, deep unhappiness.
There are very few obese people whom I believe to be truly happy with their size, but I think Gemma is one of them.
*name has been changed to protect identity








© 2014Big Matters Limited all rights reserved




_All content within Big Matters website is provided for general information only and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Big Matters Ltd is not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any individual, including all independant consultants on this site, any commercial product or service mentioned or advised any of the sites including nutritional information supplied herein. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions regarding a medical condition, your diet or before embarking on any exercise program or if you're in any way concerned about your health. Under no circumstances shall Big Matters be liable for any loss, damage or harm caused by a User's reliance on information obtained through this site. It is the responsibility of a User to evaluate the information, opinion, advice or other Content available on Big Matters website.Jessica Villa, Leigh Brandon & Richard Krijgsman are all independant consultants.