Sam's story: Gastric sleeve operation

Sam has lost almost 7 stone since she had her sleeve gastrectomy in July 2011. Before then she’d been yo-yo dieting for years and was coming up to her 40th birthday weighing over 17 stones. “I was going on cruise with friends and I didn’t want to be fat and 40. I wanted to be fit and 40,” says Sam.

Sam knew someone who’d lost ten stone with a gastric band and thought weight loss surgery might be the option for her. It also appealed to her because it was a long term solution and not a quick fix.

She called Spire Harpenden Hospital and initially met with the dietitian there to talk through the various options for weight loss surgery. Sam then met Mr Whitelaw, a bariatric consultant at the hospital. Sam says, “After I met Mr Whitelaw I felt confident I was doing right thing because he knew what he was doing.  He took care of me and was with me every step of the way.”

On the day of her operation Sam felt a bit nervous but the hospital staff put her at ease. After two days in hospital Sam was able to go home where she spent two weeks recovering before going back to work.

After Sam's weight loss surgery

The hospital team supported Sam afterwards by helping her to get used to a new way of eating and having smaller portions.

Nowadays Sam’s life is quite different to how it was before the surgery. She says, “I’m a lot lighter on my feet now I’ve lost the excess weight and I have a lot more energy. I go to the gym these days and can run for 2-3 miles.”

“Before the operation I was size 24 and when I’d go shopping I’d think ‘wouldn’t it be nice to be a size 18-20?’” Now I’m a size 12 and I can go to any of the high street shops. I never thought I’d be able to get into size 12 clothes. It feels amazing.”

What advice would Sam give to others thinking about weight loss surgery?

“I used to think that having weight loss surgery would be seen as an easy option. But it’s not. You still have to make the right decisions with food. Weight loss surgery is a tool that helps you to stay on track and to keep focus. In the past when I was dieting I would have a blowout day, when I’d eat whatever I wanted, but then that would turn into a week and then a month. Weight loss surgery helps to stop you from having blowout days and losing your focus.”

Find out more about weight loss surgery with Spire

For further information about weight loss surgery procedures we offer, get a price or make an appointment, contact your local Spire hospital or complete the form on the right-hand side of this page.

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Before weight loss surgery

Sam was size 24 and weighed over 17 stones before her weight loss surgery.

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)