In 2006, Sara Lammas from Charlwood, Surrey was faced with perhaps the most difficult decision of her life, whether to have gastric band surgery or not. Being a mother of four children and leading a very busy life, she felt she needed the treatment to gain a new lease of life to get back on her feet and improve her health.
She decided to go ahead with the operation, however once the surgery was complete, the care provided ended there. The aftercare she received was inadequate and she lost very little weight. Sara was then told that she was the 1 in 10 people that the band didn't work for, which totally disheartened her.
After six years of feeling abandoned, Sara read about Spire Gatwick Park Hospital weight loss service and contacted them immediately to see if they could help. She did her research on the rescue package and the weight loss support groups. Sara said, “That was really the start of it for me, I had to save up for the rescue package but its best thing I've ever done!”
Kay Wheeler, Bariatric Nurse Specialist who leads the support group says, “At Spire Gatwick Park Hospital, we see a significant number of patients who had surgery at other hospitals and clinics and have been unhappy with their aftercare. The fact that supportive follow-up is required for the best weight loss results is well researched. In my opinion when this sort of aftercare is not provided, patients are being failed”.
Spire Gatwick Park Hospital set up the rescue package to meet the needs of the patients like Sara Lammas. Their bariatric service includes regular patient support groups and clinics with Kay Wheeler. Spire Gatwick Park Hospital also ensures that all their patients are fully informed about the surgery before it goes ahead.
Kay simply believes that if patients stick to the new eating regime required with a gastric band (which she supports them with) and come for regular follow-up, then they will lose the weight.
Sara Lammas said, “The rescue package at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital was a life line and Kay Wheeler is amazing!”
She appeared on Sky News on Thursday 18 October to tell her story. The report was part of a national news feature surrounding the issue of weight loss surgery being treated as a ‘quick fix’ solution and warned about the risk of inadequate pre and post-surgical support and information.