"I feel a million times better. My belly looks the best it has since the day I found out I was pregnant when I was 19!"

After following a weight loss programme I successfully managed to lose five stone.

I felt pretty comfortable with the rest of my body after losing the weight, but really felt that my tummy was still holding me back. Friends complimented me on my weight loss but I found it hard to see my achievement, as all I could see was my belly.

I had two Caesarian scars and an appendix scar and despite my weight loss my belly had a fold which diet and exercise were unable to shift.

Although I looked ok with clothes on, I had to be careful about what I wore and even which underwear to ‘fit’ my stomach in. I felt it looked awful and really wanted it be in a bit more proportion to the rest of my body.

I had gone to the gym and tried diets for a good few years without managing to change my stomach. I had managed to lose weight in a healthy way and still wanted to lose a bit more weight. I felt that booking the surgery would mentally give me something to work towards.

Free 15-minute consultation

I contacted Spire Portsmouth and found out that I could have an initial free 15 minute consultation with a cosmetic surgeon that I booked. When I met with Mr. Hurren I got on with him from the word go.

He made me feel totally at ease. We just clicked and I didn’t want to see anyone else.

Mr Hurren answered all my questions in that first 15 minute meeting; although I did meet him a couple more times for longer consultations before I had the surgery.

Mr Hurren was realistic about my build and did not suggest that I needed to lose more weight. He did advise continuing with my exercise to improve my stomach muscle tone. As I still had a goal to lose more weight it was important to me to book my operation in advance to motivate me. I also needed to schedule it to fit with my work commitments so booked my surgery eight months in advance.

Everyone was amazing!

From the moment I got to Spire Portsmouth, everyone was amazing. I took my brother with me and they were very welcoming to him too. I had very consistent care and had the same nurses throughout my stay.

I suffer from high blood pressure and was worried that I might not be able to have the surgery if my blood pressure was too high. Kim the cosmetic nurse was very reassuring at my pre –op assessment. My blood pressure was taken several times by the nurse and the anesthetist who confirmed I was fine to have the operation. I felt so relieved that it was going to go ahead that my bold pressure actually went down even further!

I had an expectation of how my body might react as I had had two caesarian sections before. After the operation I did have a lot of pain and was very sore. But the staff got on top of the pain very quickly with pain relief.

I planned to stay in hospital for two nights, but felt really safe there and chose to stay an extra night. I took it really easy at first, as I didn’t want to do anything to set me back. The hospital was so fantastic I would love to have stayed another week!

A fantastic experience

My stay at Spire Portsmouth was fantastic. Visitors could turn up whenever they wanted and we were even able to have our family meals together in my room. My children played in the garden (they loved Jimmy the peacock) and were able to help themselves to complementary drinks. It made things easier for my husband whilst I was away.

All the staff, including the domestic staff and people who came to take my meal orders, were really accommodating and friendly. It felt like a very personal service.

I feel amazing now, four months after the surgery. My stomach is dead flat and smooth. The Caesarian scars and stretch marks have gone. I just have a few faint stretch marks around my belly button but nothing compared to what I had before and they won’t stop me getting my belly out.

No more hiding in the corner

Before, subconsciously I was always thinking about my belly. Now I don’t have to think about it at all.

Before, when I was getting changed for swimming or at the gym I might have hid in the corner. Now I’m happy to be in the middle of the room. I can wear the clothes or underwear I want to without thinking about covering my stomach and I feel comfortable in my dress size.

Although the weight of the skin removed was only 2lbs, it has made all the difference. I feel a million times better. My belly looks the best it has since the day I found out I was pregnant when I was 19. Mentally I feel as good as I did then too.

Mr Hurren is fantastic. I can’t praise him enough and wouldn’t hesitate to go back to him. I’ve been recommending him to everyone. I know both he and Kim, the cosmetic nurse are on the end of the phone anytime I need them. I’ve been back for my checks and will also see Mr Hurren for a final follow up in a year.

Charlene’s advice

If your stomach is enough to bother you, then go for it 110%! But be realistic: It depends on your starting point and you can’t expect the stomach you had when you were 17!

The surgery exceeded my expectations. Mr. Hurren was always very clear about possible outcomes and risks of scarring but to me the end result is perfect.

This is a genuine patient story. This story was given in December 2014.

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