Lynn Durrell - weight loss (bypass) surgery

Lynn Durrell from Wetherby, West Yorkshire was faced with perhaps the most difficult decision of her life, whether to have gastric bypass surgery after her doctor told her that she was a very high risk candidate for surgery.

"I really feel that the operation saved my life"
Lynn Durrell, Wetherby

She had reached crisis point. Tipping the scales at 20½ stone, she suffered from several other serious medical problems including asthma and heart disease. As Lynn describes she was "between a rock and a hard place”. She had a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 51, when the ideal is between 18.5 and 24.9 and her medical problems were likely to worsen unless she lost a substantial amount of weight. Over the years she had tried to get control of her weight without success and felt the best option to help break the vicious circle was for her to have gastric bypass surgery.

Lynn Durrell before weight loss surgery at Spire Leeds Hospital, Roundhay Lynn Durrell after weight loss surgery at Spire Leeds Hospital, Roundhay

Lynn, 60, a retired market researcher, and married mum of four grown up children, decided to have the procedure at Spire Leeds Hospital in Roundhay, Leeds, in 2012. She is now steadily losing the weight and says she is convinced surgery was the right choice for her. She describes “It was a very difficult decision to make but it was either have surgery or go downhill from there.”

Consultant Upper GI and Bariatric surgeon, Mr Abeezar Sarela, performed the Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. He said, “Lynn was an extremely high risk candidate for surgery: she had several medical problems including asthma, obstructive sleep apnoea, a transient ischaemic episode (often described as a "mini-stroke") and heart disease. She was taking over 20 different medications.”

“Lynn had painful hip arthritis and back problems (spondylolisthesis), she walked with two sticks and was taking high doses of morphine on a daily basis. She has had several previous open operations on her abdomen (removal of gallbladder and uterus) and laparoscopic weight loss surgery was made technically challenging because of adhesions. I had quoted her a one in 200 risk of death from gastric bypass ,” said Mr. Sarela.

Lynn says she was given huge support by the surgeon and nurses at Spire Leeds. “They talked me through it and supported me every step of the way, including the changes in my diet and lifestyle".

The operation was performed in June 2012 and completed without complications. Since the surgery, Lynn has already lost a substantial amount of weight and has experienced significant improvement in her pain, mobility and overall quality of life.

“My tastes have changed,” she says “I cannot face chocolate and I cannot stand the smell of fatty food."

Lynn has lost 7 ½ stone since surgery and now weighs 13 stone.

“I’d been suffering for a long time with many health problems which were made worse by my weight. I tried everything to lose weight but could not do it. I became very depressed and struggled to get through each day. It’s horrific to look back at photos of myself. The weight just kept creeping up and was fueled by stress which was also caused by my weight. I binged on chocolate and comfort food.”

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

Lynn adds, “People are telling me I’ve lost weight and I look good. I can do so many more things such as walk my dog, and go shopping with my husband. The number of medications I am taking has reduced, I no longer depend on walking sticks to get around as I did before surgery and I’m looking forward to joining a gym and going swimming. This is a life changing decision for my health and without it I think I would not have had much longer on this earth. I really feel that it saved my life!”

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

Lynn Durrell was treated by consultant surgeon, Mr Abeezar Sarela

Read about Mr Abeezar Sarela

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