We are very proud of our accomplishments here at Streamline Surgical, and a number of our patients have been kind enough to write testimonials about their experiences and weight loss success. The testimonials include the individual’s thoughts and feelings, the changes that surgery made to them physically, and how it has gone on to transform their lives.
Our patients’ stories range from their thoughts on how it feels to finally look in the mirror and be happy, to how surgery transformed their health to such a degree that they were able to stop taking diabetes medication and how surgery gave them the confidence to live their lives to the full.
Karen – Gastric Band Surgery Patient*
|Karen||Total Weight Loss = 4st|
|Weight before Surgery||16st|
|Weight after Surgery||12st (1 years post-surgery)*|
“I wish I had done this years ago”
Karen, 50, from Harrow, Middlesex, is a Streamline Surgical gastric band patient and decided that she needed to lose extra weight after suffering from breast cancer three times.
“I’ve struggled with weight issues all my life and unfortunately I was a child of the Seventies and so all my friends seemed to be skinny except me. Every seven years or so I’d do a crash diet and join diet clubs, but they never worked long-term and I always felt huge and body conscious. At my heaviest I was 16 stone and I would never go into a swimming pool without wrapping a towel around myself and sliding in. I never looked at myself in the mirror. I thought if I didn’t like looking at my body, then what did other people think?
“I’ve also had breast cancer three times in the last 10 years – the first time, I had a mastectomy, two years later I discovered a tumour on my other breast and then it went onto my lung. As much as they don’t say that my weight hasn’t given me breast cancer, it is an issue and I do believe it may have been a contributory factor as research shows that half of breast cancer cases happen in overweight women.
“Now after all my cancer treatment, I want to stay as healthy as I can. I’ve been clear for over four years and although I don’t know what the future holds, I have so much to live for. I realised I needed some help when I found myself struggling to help my 25-year-old daughter who suffers from muscular dystrophy.
It was getting harder for me to lift her out of bed and her wheelchair because of my weight. I needed to be strong to help her and I was often in pain and my heart would race. I could see there would more problems in the future.
“This year I turned 50 and I was determined it would be a fresh start for me. I did not want to go into my middle years with the terrible thought of this disease hanging over me and also worrying about my weight, I knew I had to do something about it. My dad died a few years ago after suffering from heart disease and diabetes which are both weight-related. I didn’t want the same problems as him and I knew they could be avoided. I felt it was now or never.
“But I knew it was a big decision. I read up on gastric bands and went on websites and forums and the name that kept coming up time and again as a great surgeon was Shaw Somers. He spoke to me in great detail about why I would want the surgery and we discussed everything and what a challenge a gastric band would be and all the risks and the benefits. I talked about it to my husband and between us we made the decision that I should have it and I had the surgery two months later. I had no complications and all I can say is that I wish I had done it years ago. I’m a new me.
“Any time I had any problems or worries, there was a number I could call and I was also encouraged to talk to the bariatric nurses at the hospital where I was having the surgery. The post-operative care has proved just as good. On the one occasion I needed by band slightly adjusted I saw Shaw Somers and he was fantastic. I have gradually lost over four stone – now I eat normally, but just smaller portion sizes. Before I just ate too much. But it’s all too easy to cheat and once it’s fitted, you must learn not to abuse it by eating the wrong things.
“My youngest daughter is a fitness instructor and has always encouraged me in my weight loss. Both my girls and my husband are thrilled that I feel and look so much better. But most importantly, they are happy that I’m healthier too. I’m still so excited about it and it has changed my life forever.”*
Hazel – Gastric Band Surgery Patient*
|Hazel||Total Weight Loss = 7st 1lb|
|Weight before Surgery||22st|
|Weight after Surgery||14st 11lbs (1 years post-surgery)*|
“I want my children to be proud of me”
Hazel, 31, from Hampshire, is a Streamline Surgical gastric band patient and had been overweight for years but she realised she needed some extra help to lose her weight after diets failed to work and she was 22 stone.
“Since I’ve had the surgery, I realise how overweight and unfit I was before. On holiday in Guernsey last summer I was so dizzy and out-of-breath walking up a hill, and I started to cry because I knew my weight was really affecting my health.
“After giving birth to my first son at 19, I started to gain weight. My eating habits were terrible, portion sizes were too big, and the weight crept on over the next ten years, particularly after I had two more boys and I gained about eight stone. I could see I was following a family pattern – my mum, sister and I had all been slim when we were younger and then gained weight as we got older.
“My mum had always been overweight and I could see how much it affected her life. When I was growing up, children used to comment about her size. I never used to tell her but I began to worry that my own children would go through what I’d been through with school-friends making nasty comments. When I turned 30, I knew I was heading the same way. It made me feel desperate and I was extremely low.
“I tried all kinds of diets and diet books. I was successful with every diet I did and would lose up to three stone on some of them, form all of my diets I lost a total of 10 stone, but I had no will power and it always came back and I would actually gain more weight.
“Then when my mum had gastric bypass surgery two years ago, I couldn’t believe the transformation. From a woman who could physically hardly do anything, mum then wanted to do everything – trampolining with my children and playing with them in the park. I could see the dramatic change in her and it inspired me to look into it myself.
“I didn’t have any concerns about having a gastric band. I had a read a lot about the surgery and researched it in great detail. I really wanted to have it done. I knew it was my last hope. At my initial consultation with Guy Slater, we discussed the reasons why I wanted the surgery and he took the time and trouble to help me make the right choice. There are aspects about the gastric band that need to be considered but we talked them all through as it’s important to know how it will affect your life.
“I went ahead with the operation and I have never looked back. There are certain foods – not many – that I can’t eat anymore but for me, the weight loss outweighs the food. Since the operation I have lost seven stone.
“I know that help is there. If I started to go up a few pounds, all I have to do is call Guy up and go and get my band tightened. It’s good for me. I have no choice but to eat smaller portions. One of the best things now is going shopping. I was limited to the Plus Size shops before but now I buy outfits off-the-peg. Now I get people looking at me – for the right reasons.
“My husband is delighted and is constantly complimenting me and I feel so attractive, my skin and hair look better. My 11-year-old son always comments on how much weight mum and I have lost. He is really proud of us both. When we go shopping now, he picks clothes out for us. It has been such a positive for my children.
“It will be a challenge to keep sticking to the right foods but I am more than prepared for this. I want to be fitter, slimmer and healthier for my children. I look at overweight people now and I feel so sorry for them and think: I know how you feel but there is something you can do.”*
Jason – Gastric Bypass Surgery Patient*
|Jason||Total Weight Loss = 12st 7lbs|
|Weight before Surgery||27st 7lbs|
|Weight after Surgery||15st (2 years post-surgery)*|
“I’m finally the person I knew I always could be”
Jason (36) from Eale in Kent had battled with his weight for years before turning to surgery to deal with the problem that was drastically affecting his life. At over 27 stone he underwent a gastric bypass with Streamline Surgical.
“I was always big as a child and my weight just kept going up and I got bigger and bigger. I also started to put on quite lot of weight when my wife became pregnant- it was like a sympathy belly!
“I hated the way I looked, people definitely treated me differently and whilst I had a loving and supportive wife at home, out in public people would always stare at me. Even in the middle of summer I’d cover up with a coat. Luckily I was fairly healthy and tried to lead as normal life as possible, I went to the gym and played football every week but that didn’t do anything to stop my weight problems. I tried every diet available with no effect, I didn’t even eat large portions, and nothing would shift my weight.
“My three granddaughters were a real contribution to my decision to take action and deal with the problem head on. I couldn’t bear the thought of not seeing those beautiful girls grow up and not being able to be involved in their lives. I was terrified about dying young. Even though I was quite fit I thought I’d have heart attack any day.
“Surgery was my last resort. I went to see my GP and he referred me to Shaw Somers who performed the operation in Chichester. I felt comfortable throughout, the whole experience surrounded by staff and a surgeon who really cared, Shaw was incredible.
“Since the surgery I’ve lost over 12 stone and feel absolutely amazing. Shaw has given me my life back. I felt so at ease throughout the whole process and was ecstatic that my battle with weight was finally over. I don’t even have any excess skin to deal with!
“I’ve never felt better; I have so much more energy and feel much more confident in public now that no one stares at me, unless it’s in a good way! I’m planning to do a track day, which I couldn’t do before because of my weight. I also got to the gym four times a week and play football three times a week, a massive step up from my previous exercise routine. I love to go shopping now and no longer hide behind my bulky coats. Even my family has gained a positive attitude towards eating and has taken to eating smaller portions with me.
“Bariatric surgery is a big decision, and it certainly wasn’t an easy option despite my previous experience with dieting. It’s a decision I made for myself, for my health, my happiness and my family; the effect on my personality has been outstanding as I’m a much calmer, happier person and I look about 10 years younger! The best thing about the surgery is my new lease of life and that I can be more involved in granddaughters’ lives, I’m no longer worried about leaving my family behind.”*
Melanie – Gastric Bypass Surgery Patient*
|Melanie||Total Weight Loss = 7st 10lbs|
|Weight before Surgery||21st 7lbs|
|Weight after Surgery||13st 9lbs (1 years post-surgery) *|
“It was hard to be a normal twenty something”
Melanie is 26 from Hayes, Middlesex, she was over 21 stone when she decided to have a gastric band fitted with Streamline Surgical.
“I turned to surgery after years of being unhappy with my body. I had always been big as a child but since I got diagnosed with ME at 21 the weight started to pile on. I was seriously unhappy and decided enough was enough; I knew I didn’t want to be overweight anymore.
“I came across Streamline Surgical whilst doing research on the Internet and found Shaw Somers and the Clementine clinic. I met both of the Streamline Surgical surgeons and they were both terrific. I found the team at Streamline Surgical really helpful and supportive and I’m so glad I took the step to change my life.”
“Before the surgery trying to be a normal twenty something was really difficult. I was young and my weight was starting to interfere with my personal life. I didn’t have a boyfriend and my friends didn’t have the same problems I did.
“I would go out with my friends and feel huge, I hated it. I felt so aware of my weight and people looking at me. I’d get strangers making negative comments as I walked past and my self-esteem was at an all time low. I felt completely isolated because of my weight, I had no boyfriend and couldn’t socialise with my friends. I just wanted to hide.
“I tried every single diet and couldn’t get them to stick. I know my own will power was to blame, I would binge eat and didn’t have a healthy diet. I’d eat whatever I wanted and had a terrible sweet tooth, chocolate was my major weakness. Because of the ME I can’t exercise making it difficult to control my weight.
“Since the surgery my confidence has rocketed. I’m now only a little over 13 stone and feel so comfortable going out with my friends. I enjoy my life so much more, and I’m never worried about people looking at me or judging me. I get a lot more male attention now too!
“I love going to theme parks and can now go and not worry about fitting on the seats of the rides I love to go on. I’ve also been on holiday to the Cape Verde Islands, something I hadn’t done for years because of my paranoia about going on planes and worrying about the seat size. I had a great holiday lying on the beach, feeling comfortable and enjoying myself.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic with the results and I can live my life to the full. My family has been so supportive throughout the whole process and combined with the team’s expert help I’ve never felt better. I’d recommend Streamline Surgical to anyone. The surgery has made my life so much better and I’m a much happier person. Being overweight can be so depressing, the surgery has made me the confident happy person I’ve always wanted to be.”*
Wendy – Gastric Bypass Surgery Patient*
|Wendy||Total Weight Loss = 7st 6lbs|
|Weight before Surgery||19st 12lbs|
|Weight after Surgery||12st 6lbs (1 years post-surgery)*|
“I was always the chubby one”
“I first considered bariatric surgery when I found out a friend was having it done. After years of failed diets and struggling with my weight I thought this could be for me too. I was desperate to solve the problem; I was over 19 stone and entering my forties, I didn’t want to be overweight for the rest of my life. I used to work as a nurse so I knew a lot of GP’s. I was speaking to one of them about bariatric surgery and he recommended Shaw Somers and gave me his number.
“Shaw was great, I felt supported throughout the whole process. It was such a positive decision for me to make and I felt I was finally on the right track. Everyone at Streamline Surgical was understanding and easy to talk to about every aspect of the procedure. The care I received before, after and during the operation made me feel so well looked after.
“My weight problem started from an early age. Even when I was younger with three other siblings I was always the chubby one and my weight steadily increased over the years. When I reached my twenties I stopped smoking and got married which caused my weight to creep up on me as I was generally enjoying married life and the nicotine no longer suppressed my appetite. Before the surgery my eating habits were terrible, I was secretly binging and I even had to go to an eating disorder clinic for my problem. Chocolate was a really big problem for me, I could eat two family bags of M&M’s in 30 minutes.
“I felt like no one would take me seriously and that they couldn’t see past my weight to the person that I was. I felt miserable and worthless. I was always worried that it would affect my marriage; even though we’d been together 20 years in the back of my mind I was worried about how he saw me. I was also painfully self-conscious and hated going out; it got so bad I wouldn’t want to go anywhere. Holidays were a nightmare as well; I always covered up and didn’t feel comfortable or relaxed. I was also finding it difficult to keep up with my three children who are all fairly young.
“My experience with Streamline Surgical changed my life; the whole team are so skilled and dealt with my problem perfectly. Surgery is an extreme option, it’s not a quick fix and I’ve had to work hard for it but it was definitely worth it. I had a great support network of friends and family, which really helped me through the process and I’ve never felt better.
“I’m much healthier, and have gone back to basics with my eating habits. My husband has been really supportive and thoughtful about food, it’s great that my new look is creating such a positive effect on my family. I’m completely energized; I go spinning and have even taken up Tae Kwon Do twice a week, which I really enjoy. My confidence and self-esteem have soared and I can go into any clothes shop. My whole life is much easier.
“I’m now 12 stone 6lbs which is the same size I was when I got married! My whole family is so pleased that I’m finally happy. Even though he never said anything before my husband says he prefers the size I am now and I definitely do!”*
Gary – Gastric Bypass Surgery Patient*
|Gary||Total Weight Loss = 8st 6lbs|
|Weight before Surgery||25st 5lbs|
|Weight after Surgery||16st 11lbs (1 years post-surgery)*|
“It’s amazing to no longer be on any diabetes medication”
Gary, 45, from Seaford, East Sussex, is a Streamline Surgical gastric bypass patient: “I’m a totally different person now. I can look in the mirror and I’m happy.”
“My weight problem started when I was at secondary school. I started to get bullied, and I realised the bigger guys were left alone so I began eating more to stop the bullying. But even when school finished I didn’t stop. I didn’t have many relationships and would turn to food for comfort. I could easily have four packets of crisps in one go and used to drink up to ten 2-litre bottles of fizzy drink each week.
“I tried every diet – you name it, I tried it. My weight would yo-yo as I lost interest in the diet and went back to food. Nothing worked for me, and my self-esteem was so low, I felt self-conscious the whole time. On holiday there was no way I would take off my shirt on the beach, no matter how hot it was. At work, I was a manager in charge of around 30 staff handling a large turnover and so I was quite successful. Yet I would still hear comments and jokes from my staff and customers about my size practically every day which made me really upset.
“Ten years ago I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and over the last few years suffered with bouts of depression. My weight definitely contributed to this – I believed I was useless and worthless. Then one day I thought enough was enough. I’d had enough of being fat with the jibes and the embarrassment I had every single day.
“I spoke with my GP and he referred me to Guy Slater. I was given all the details of Streamline Surgical’s support groups and began watching The Fat Doctor. The key thing for me was the fact they didn’t hide anything, and then speaking to people at the support groups confirmed to me that surgery was what I needed.
“Weighing over 25 stone and with my health issues such as my diabetes I was an ideal candidate for surgery. I found the staff at Streamline Surgical so friendly and they treated me with respect and like a ‘normal’ person – it was like a five star hotel! I am full of admiration for Guy Slater and can’t speak highly enough of him. He has given me back me life, probably about 30 years of it!
“I am no longer on any medication for diabetes which feels amazing. I don’t miss any of the bad foods I used to eat all the time and I can actually look in the mirror now and not feel disgusted. I love going out and shopping now and can buy clothes off the peg, which is so nice. I am so much more confident. Before I used to have to put on a certain mask to try to get people to like me and now I don’t feel that I need to do that – people will like me for me.
“I used to cycle to work before I had the surgery but had to give it up as it would take me about 20 minutes to get my breath back. Now I have so much energy and my fitness levels have improved so much. I can cycle to work no problem now and I also walk a lot.
“My wife is so happy with the new me, she calls me her “hunky, new fella!” I promised her before we got married that I would lose the weight and now I have kept my word after years of trying and failing. Some of my friends don’t even recognise me which I find gives me a complete buzz and helps my confidence even more. All my family and friends have been so supportive and they are pleased that I am finally happy with myself.
“Now I’m just waiting for things to happen as the whole world has opened up to me. I really want to go abroad soon as this time I won’t have the embarrassment of needing an extension belt and having the tray resting on my belly! This time the tray will be able to fully go down and once I’m on the beach I can take my shirt off without any anxiety. To anyone considering the surgery I say do it, you won’t regret it”*
*Weight loss surgery results and benefits vary and are different for every individual.