Having lost five and a half stone in 17 months since weight loss surgery, Jenny Eldridge tells us about the life changing gastric band she had fitted at Benenden Hospital.
Why did you decide to have a gastric band fitted
“I decided to have a gastric band fitted for a couple of reasons, but mainly for my health. As a result of being very overweight, I was quite immobile, I had high blood pressure and high cholesterol, I was prediabetic and probably lots of other things, but I’ve forgotten all about them now!
Why did you choose Benenden Hospital for weight loss surgery?
“I chose Benenden Hospital for my gastric band surgery because I was a Benenden Health member. I did research other hospitals but none compared to here. I’d also been to the hospital several times as I’d had a hip replacement there, so I knew how brilliant it was. It was the natural choice.
“To arrange my gastric band surgery was oh so easy! I just made a phone call and then I had an appointment to see Consultant Bariatric Surgeon, Mr Ahmed Hamouda and from there, I’d already decided I wanted one, but I had to wait the 14 days cooling-off period. But everything was very easy, everyone’s so lovely at Benenden Hospital.
“When I saw Mr Hamouda, he went through the whole procedure, and explained everything with his diagrams. But afterwards, once I’d left, it was then down to the booking team to keep me updated. I also saw the dietitian and the psychologist.
“Mr Ahmed Hamouda is such a nice, charming man and my questions were answered even though some of them were quite silly.
Were there any special instructions before and after weight loss surgery?
“For my preoperative diet I was given some choices, but I chose to have the shake diet with a small meal in the evening because it meant I didn’t have to think about what I was doing. The diet was 1,000 calories a day. The shakes were a standard number of calories and I just found that easier.
“Post-surgery, I didn’t immediately feel any discomfort or pain, because you’ve still got the effects of the anaesthetic. Yes, I experienced discomfort but they gave me plenty of pain relief.
“As far as the procedure, it’s just another operation – but living with it, I don’t really notice it unless I overeat or eat too quickly.
How quickly were you able to get back to normal activities?
“I resumed my normal activities within a couple of weeks actually. And, as the weight dropped off, I felt able to do more and more because I was slightly immobile when I had the operation. Now, I’m a lot fitter. I also used to take a whole load of pills pre-surgery, now I take hardly any!
“I’m over the moon with the results of my gastric band surgery. It’s one of…well it’s the best thing I’ve ever done as far as my health and weight is concerned.
“After I had the band, I lost five and a half stone in about 17 months – and I’ve maintained it for the last nine months.
“My advice to anyone considering weight loss surgery at Benenden Hospital is: go for it! But be aware that it’s not a magic wand, you do have to work at it, which I think a lot of people don’t realise. But when you work at it, you get to know how the band works. It will work for you in return!”
Gastric band surgery at Benenden Hospital
Published on 07 December 2021