I had my original gastric band done in Belgium in 2005. It worked very well and over the years I lost six stone in weight. Then, approximately two years ago my gastric band broke. There was no restriction around the band, so my weight started to increase. I went to my original patient coordinator, but they weren't much help. They told me that gastric bands only last between nine to 15 years - a fact which they had failed to tell me either when I had had the original band, or in subsequent years. I would have to return to Belgium and pay again to have the band replaced if I wanted it fixed. I did not relish the prospect of this, so I set about finding a surgeon in the UK that would be prepared to do it. After due diligence and a couple of false starts with surgeons in my area, I discovered Mr Simon Monkhouse at Spire Hospital, near Gatwick, Surrey. He had dozens and dozens of impressive reviews from previous patients, so I contacted him.
I am so glad I did.
Immediately he was interested in my story and willing to help. He gave me considered advice, asked all the right questions and actually replied to emails himself! He talked to me in plain English and I was overjoyed that I had found someone that seemed to care. Things moved quickly and I was lucky enough to be able to have my corrective surgery within a few weeks of contacting him.
He and his team were wonderful. The procedure was not straight forward, he wasn't sure what he would find or how the band had broken, but he explained every possible scenario thoroughly. I was awake inside the operating theatre for some time, at the start of the operation while they did the X-rays. And I will admit, it was somewhat scary to be awake in there, but the whole team was absolutely focused on me and the conundrum of how they could fix my gastric band. They did everything they could to put me at ease.
When I woke up in the recovery room I was well looked after by the nurses, and then once again, when I was taken back to my room. Mr Monkhouse came to see (me) shortly after and told me everything had gone really well and they had fixed the band without having to remove the old one and replace it with a new one.
I was absolutely overjoyed with the outcome. It could not have been better. The care I received from Mr Monkhouse and the team at Gatwick Spire Hospital was at another level, over all other care providers I have had over the years. I would wholeheartedly recommend Mr Simon Monkhouse and the weight loss team at Gatwick Spire Hospital to anyone seeking surgery in his particular field.