Gillian Carbine - weight loss (bypass) surgery

Leeds mum, Gillian Carbine lost an astonishing 50% of her body weight after having gastric bypass surgery at Spire Leeds Hospital under the care of consultant general surgeon Mr Abeezar Sarela.
At her heaviest Gillian Carbine weighed 23.5 stone, with a BMI of 51. She now weighs 11.5 stone and has dropped an amazing six dress sizes. “My life has changed completely,” she said.  “I have lost the weight and gained an enormous amount of confidence.”

"I feel healthier and a lot better than I have done for years"
Gillian Carbine, Bramley

Gillian, 39, who is married and lives in Bramley, Leeds, now enjoys a more active lifestyle, including horse riding with her nine-year-old son Ryan.

She had been overweight for most of her life.

“I grew up on a diet of chips with everything. We had big portions and in my family we were taught to clear our plate before leaving the table. I was under the care of a dietitian at the age of eight but found it hard to keep to a diet that was different to what the rest of the family was eating” said Gillian. After leaving home, Gillian continued to eat her favourite foods such as fish and chips and Chinese take-away meals and the weight piled on.

Gillian Carbine before weight loss surgery at Spire Leeds Hospital, Roundhay Gillian Carbine after weight loss surgery at Spire Leeds Hospital, Roundhay

Gillian suffered from a vertebral fracture during the delivery of her son nine years ago. Since then she has struggled with back problems and taken medications to manage the pain. “I felt tired all the time and didn’t want to move” she said. “I was also suffering from various weight-related health issues, plus depression and lack of confidence which meant that I rarely left the house.”

Then a visit to her doctor in November 2010 put her on the path to success. She decided to find out more about the weight loss options available to her and attended a talk on weight loss surgery and a weight loss forum at Spire Leeds Hospital.

In July 2011, she underwent a Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass at Spire Leeds Hospital, which is often considered as the “gold-standard”  bariatric operation. Mr. Abeezar Sarela, consultant Upper GI and Bariatric Surgeon, performed the surgery. He said. “Gill was an ideal candidate for this surgery. She attended one of my talks and was well-informed and willing to make changes to her lifestyle. She had tried to lose weight with the aid of various diets, slimming clubs and medications. We discussed all of the surgical options and she decided to go ahead with a gastric bypass.”

Mr Sarela explains that the weight loss procedure works by restricting the capacity of the stomach and bypassing part of the digestive system. It is also thought to help you to feel full after eating smaller meals by changing the levels of hormones that control the senses of appetite and fullness.

Today Gillian is delighted with the results. “I had keyhole surgery so I don’t have a massive scar. Now I’ve lost weight I can do more activities with my son that I couldn’t do before. For the first time in twenty years I feel more confident, going swimming and trying new activities like horse riding. The pressure on my back was excruciating before but now I can manage the pain better. I feel healthier and a lot better than I have done for years.”

In June tlast year she celebrated her fourth wedding anniversary and her husband Kevin was able to carry her over the threshold for the first time -something that would not have been possible at the time of their wedding.

She aims to lose another half stone to reach her target weight of 11 stone. “I now know what to eat and what not to eat so I can make the right choices. It’s funny but I now cannot stand the smell of fried food. My eating has become a lifestyle change and not a diet. It’s taken years off my appearance and hopefully added some more years to my life.”

Mr Sarela added, “Gillian has done exceptionally well to lose one-half of her actual weight or about 90% of her excess weight and this reflects her firm commitment to modify her diet and life-style. The most important aspect of her case-study is the illustration that with motivation and dedication, excellent outcomes are achievable.”

Obesity Surgery – background information

The government says that obesity is one of the biggest health challenges facing the UK today. Their statistics state that almost one in four* adults in England are classified as obese (with a BMI of 30 or over), and that if we continue at this current rate by 2050 nine out of ten adults will be overweight or obese. The government estimates that obesity could cost the wider economy £50 billion per year by the middle of this century.

There are many schemes and programmes designed to aid weight loss. Surgery has become an increasingly popular option, and in recent years techniques have improved. Spire Leeds Hospital is one of the country’s largest centres for obesity surgery with specialist surgeons supported by experienced dietitians, specialist bariatric nurses, anaesthetists, and physiotherapists. The procedures available include gastric bypass surgery, sleeve gastrectomy, and gastric banding.

The Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is one of a number of weight-loss operations, which are offered by Spire Leeds Hospital.

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Mr Abeezar Sarela

Mr Abeezar Sarela, consultant surgeon at Spire Leeds Hospital, Roundhay, West Yorkshire

Gillian Carbine was treated by consultant surgeon, Mr Abeezar Sarela

Read about Mr Abeezar Sarela

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)