Jessica, a self-confessed yo-yo dieter, had been worrying about her weight for 25 years before she decided enough was enough and underwent weight loss surgery at our hospital.
“I was already very aware of Benenden Hospital before approaching them. I’d seen lots of adverts and I’d heard lots of positive things about private healthcare.”
Jessica lives in Folkestone, so our hospital is only a forty-minute drive away.
“It made me feel more comfortable that the hospital was fairly near to home. I went on to the website which was easy to navigate, found the bariatric section and made my first appointment.
“Since I was a teenager, I have always been aware of different ways of dieting but then worried about gaining weight. Back then, I was completely unhappy with myself because I never felt comfortable in my own skin.
“Before making the decision to go down the weight loss surgery route, I’d tried every diet that has probably ever been invented! From Weightwatchers to the Cambridge diet with varying successes over the years. The amount of money that I spent on diets could have paid for the operation ten times over!”
Jessica had been given the same piece of weight loss advice countless times: ‘eat less and move more’. However, for Jessica although she has a full-time job and is a single parent to two children it was not easy to put into practice and keep doing regularly.
“Food was my indulgent reward at the end of a long, busy day. I would eat just that little bit more each day, the weight would slowly creep up, each year one stone heavier and it was a vicious cycle to try to lose it again. Hand on heart, I tried everything and it was such a relief to admit that to myself.
“My weight affected my general health and life. From my point of view, I was very active, I wasn’t lazy at all! I’d be rushing around all day and trying to fit in the time to exercise on top of that was impossible for me. There are many factors as to why people struggle to lose weight, sometimes it’s financial, or you work long hours, or you don’t naturally have the willpower to do so. It’s very easy for people to make snap judgements.”
Jessica had two appointments with her Consultant Bariatric Surgeon before having surgery.
“The Consultant I saw was the wonderful Mr Okaro and he was brilliant right from the start. He was non-judgemental as I spoke about my history with weight. Originally, I was going for a gastric balloon procedure, but after listening to my journey, Mr Okaro was honest and said it wouldn’t be a long-term solution. Instead, he suggested I have the gastric sleeve surgery which would mean it would achieve the best outcome for my health.
“Mr Okaro spent a lot of time talking about the gastric sleeve with me. He gave me a two-week period to think things through fully to make sure I was 100% certain that I wanted the operation. After that time, I had decided to go through with it, so in May 2021 I had the gastric sleeve surgery.
“I’ve got nothing but praise for the way I’ve been treated by everyone at Benenden Hospital. The nurses that care for you, the anaesthetist who reassured me, the nutritionists before and after surgery, the extremely efficient Private Patients lady, Heather Lake and the supportive Mr Okaro, all of whom were absolutely faultless.”
Three months on from her surgery, Jessica talks about her recovery journey: “I’ve recovered so quickly, I didn’t have any ill effects at all and everything the clinical staff prepared me for was manageable. My weight is on track and I’ve lost a couple of stone! I think I’ve plateaued a bit but that’s a normal part of the process.
“Having the Gastric Sleeve has stopped my overthinking because I can’t overeat anymore – not entirely sure what this sentence means. I’m so grateful because I feel confident in my body and I’m healthy now.
“The biggest thing that this operation has done for me is that it’s given me the strength to be photographed with my kids. I used to always say no to photos, it was quite a big deal to me because I didn’t like the way I looked. Now, I can be a part of their memories for years to come.
“I feel comfortable in a swimming costume now so I can have even more fun with my children and I can treat myself to clothes that fit me really well. These might seem like little things but they make up your life and they are priceless.
“My advice to anyone who is considering weight loss surgery would be to do your research. Speak to the consultant because you get a lot of confidence from hearing them speak about their experience and sharing their knowledge . Make the appointment, hear about your options and don’t waste your money on yo-yo dieting. I wish I’d done this 20 years ago, but I really did exhaust every previous attempt.
“Having lost two stone since having the gastric sleeve, my kids said to me out of the blue one day- ‘Mummy you’re looking really pretty today’ which told me how even my children can see how happy and healthy I am now.”
Kick start your weight-loss journey
Published on 06 September 2021