Life Saving Weight Loss Surgery – Tracey’s Story*

Bariatric surgery is about more than just weight loss. For many patients it is about having a better future and for others it is about ensuring they have a future.*

“I wouldn’t be here today without weight loss surgery,” said Tracey.

In 2013 Tracey was referred to the Bariatric Unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital, at her heaviest she weighed over 31 stone.

Talking about her weight loss surgery experience Tracey said, “ It hasn’t been easy and anyone who thinks weight loss surgery is an easy way out couldn’t be further from the truth.

“When I was 38 I suffered a heart attack and heart failure. Being overweight wasn’t helping my heart.

“In February 2011 I had to undergo open heart surgery, so that a heart valve could be replaced. Luckily I pulled through but due to lack of movement in my recovery I put on more weight. As a result of the additional weight gain I developed sleep apnoea and leg ulcers, which made it very difficult to walk, I became housebound.

Tracey Before Bariatric surgery“I wasn’t living anymore but merely existing. My biggest fear, as a single mother of two teenage daughters at the time, was that if I didn’t do something quickly I would die.

“In August 2012 my Cardiologist told me that it was a matter of life or death – my heart couldn’t take anymore. He recommended that I start a specialist weight management service, which I began in January 2013.

“Sadly the course wasn’t successful for me. At this point I was having my leg ulcers dressed regular, I could barely walk and weighed a staggering 31 stone 2lbs.

“After the completion of the course I received a letter that stated they thought weight loss surgery was my best option. At this point I was referred to the Bariatric Unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital. My Cardiologist was behind me all the way – I needed the surgery and fast.

“I met with the surgical team the following December, where I was told I would be an ideal candidate for weight loss surgery and that a Gastric Bypass would be the better procedure for me.

“That June 2014 I went into hospital for my Gastric Bypass. During the procedure there were some complications and rather than having keyhole surgery I had to be opened up. My life was truly in the hands of Mr Chris Pring and Mr Shaw Somers.

“Later that day I opened my eyes, thankful that I had made it through the surgery and ready to start my new life.”

Unfortunately for reasons unrelated to her weight loss surgery, Tracey had to spend 14 weeks in hospital shortly after her procedure.

“Being bed bound for so long meant that I have to learn to walk again. The muscles in my legs couldn’t carry me.

“My new life really started that September. I was really looking forward to starting the new fitter and healthier chapter of my life.

“Since the surgery I have lost an incredible 19 stone and 2lb- I feel completely different! There have been so many other changes since my weight loss surgery; my diabetes is diet controlled, I can sit on a chair at the doctors without taking up two seats. The biggest lifestyle change is that I no longer have leg ulcers meaning I can now walk without crutches.

Tracey After Bariatric surgery“I am now experiencing life not just existing. The December after my surgery I went to my grandson’s nativity play. I had never been to one before because I was scared of what people would think of me. I can remember how people used to glare at me and how I would hear them talking about me behind my back.

“I am proud of what I have achieved, being alive to see my daughters and my grandchildren grow up, it means the world to me. I can run around after my grandchildren now, like a proper Nanny.

“I owe my life to the amazing bariatric team; my consultants Mr Nick Carter and Mr Ben Knight, Denise Thomas my dietitian, along with the surgeons Mr Chris Pring and Mr Shaw Somers.

“My quality of life after weight loss surgery is great. My next goal is to take part in a marathon and to learn to swim – things I was either too embarrassed to do before or simply not able to do.”*

Bariatric surgery really can be life changing. Contact us today to see how our team of experts can help you.

*Weight loss surgery results and benefits vary and are different for every individual.