When local mother of five Sarah decided to opt for a tummy tuck, she wanted the reassurance that she would receive a good level of treatment and service. Spire Gatwick Park Hospital was recommended to Sarah by her GP and looked like a good option after Sarah researched the hospital and consultants online.
After three `normal` pregnancies, Sarah’s fourth was twins, which left her with a large amount of excess skin and an overhang after giving birth. She had gained four stone during the pregnancy but lost the extra weight after her baby was born.
Although she was a UK size 12, the large pouch and excess skin that was left made it difficult for Sarah, 43, to choose clothes. On seeking advice from her GP, she was told that the pouch and tummy hang would never disappear and was something that she just had to live with.
“I had to lift the excess skin to wash,” she recalls, “and when my monthly cycle came along I felt five months pregnant as the pouch swelled and only skirts and trousers with an elasticated waistline would fit.”
Sarah’s GP referred her to one of the experienced consultants at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital. She looked online at the specialist consultant profiles at the hospital and booked an appointment with plastic surgeon Mr Asit Khandwala, who has been carrying out tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) procedures at Spire Gatwick Park for more than ten years.
At the initial consultation, Mr Khandwala, a Plastic Surgeon who is on the Specialist Register for Plastic Surgery with the General Medical Council, went through the process and the procedure with Sarah, highlighting the fact that she would be left with a large scar, although this would likely be hidden under her underwear. He also recommended surgically tightening some of Sarah’s stomach muscles.
Sarah thought carefully about her options and decided to save up for the operation, which would cost several thousand pounds. “Mr Khandwala was very patient as I took almost a year before I finally booked a date for the operation to take place,” says Sarah.
“The hospital was very understanding and ensured I was happy with the procedure that was being planned. I was able to book a date in advance that suited me and my family commitments for when this would be carried out.
“I went in on a Friday morning and spent two to three hours in surgery where they removed the excess skin, tightened up the muscles and carried out some liposuction. I spent two nights at the hospital - the nurses and staff were lovely and went out of their way to ensure I was comfortable and I was checked regularly.”
That wasn’t all that Sarah liked about her inpatient stay. “The food and menu choices were amazing. I was impressed with the care and attention and would highly recommend the hospital to others.”
Sarah visited Mr Khandwala each Saturday morning for post-operative check-ups, seeing him for eight or nine appointments over the next year, before being discharged.
“The operation has changed my life,” declares a delighted Sarah. “I feel far more confident and don’t have to worry about what I wear anymore.”
Mr Khandwala said: “I try and build a relationship with all my patients – as well as their GPs - to ensure they are fully aware and understand the procedure they are about to undertake. I always listen and treat each case individually as we are all different.
“It is important when considering surgery to have the procedure carried out by someone close to home with follow-up consultations with the same specialist surgeon to ensure that, as far as possible, nothing goes wrong. I see so many patients who have received treatment further afield and abroad but end up not being happy and have to pay more to have things put right.”