Sarah Shrubsall's gastric sleeve surgery

Sarah Shrubsall

Sarah Shrubsall tells us how gastric sleeve surgery at Benenden Hospital has changed her day to day life.

“I had a gastric sleeve fitted on 10 June 2021 which also happened to be my 61st birthday and my wedding anniversary of 32 years so it was a special day.

“I had been overweight for a while and wearing men’s 3XL clothes wasn’t a very good feeling. If I went into a shop to find something to wear and I just knew there was nothing in my size, I always felt a bit demoralised.

How weight loss surgery helped Sarah with a knee problem

“I had an ongoing problem with my left knee which was contributed to being overweight. I was comfort eating a lot too which led to more weight gain. I had a colleague at work who’d gone to Brazil to have a gastric sleeve fitted but she had the advantage of being Spanish therefore she didn’t have a problem with the language. Whereas, I wished to stay in England so I would understand more and feel more comfortable.

“To try to lose weight, I had tried some diets but they had not been successful in fitting around my work and my lifestyle. I work unsocial hours so it’s very difficult to eat healthy, balanced meals and I just felt having surgery was looking to be the only answer. I knew of people who would go on a crash diet, lose two or three stone but then a couple of years later they would be heavier than they were before. Some people were very good and maintained their weight loss, but I just felt like I couldn’t benefit from it that way.

Why Sarah came to Benenden Hospital for her gastric sleeve

“We had happy news last year when my daughter said she wanted to get married so I had that extra push to do something about my weight. I didn’t want to have to hide in the background at the wedding.

“To make the decision to come to Benenden Hospital was not an overnight process. When our daughter announced she was getting married I said: ‘yes I’ll get some weight loss surgery so I can look better in the photos’, however, I did take a long time to pluck up the courage to ring up to make the appointment.

“As soon as I spoke to a very friendly lady on the end of the phone it was comforting that there were people in this position who fully understood the need to have weight loss surgery. The appointment was made within a matter of weeks and I came along to see Mr Okaro for my initial consultation.

“I had it in my head to have a balloon procedure because I was looking at the cost side of things. But after talking it through with Mr Okaro, I realised I needed to do something permanent. I was given a two week ‘cool-off’ unpressured period to decide if I wanted to have the gastric sleeve and I decided to say yes. The gastric sleeve means that part of my stomach was removed so I eat less moving forward – the best decision I’ve ever made.

“When I first approached Benenden Hospital, I had my initial consultation with Mr Okaro. The preparation and guidance I received was very complimentary. There was always someone at the end of the phone, detailed appointments came through on time as well as a handy text reminder. The information about what the surgery involved, how long the recovery time was, advice on returning home post-surgery and I have had some very good follow up appointments.

How weight loss surgery has changed Sarah's life

“Four months on from surgery, life is a lot better for me. I have lost 30 kilograms which I am extremely happy about! It has changed my life - I am able to wear clothes I haven’t worn for years, walk a lot better and overall, I just feel better within myself. I very much feel like a different person. For example, if I go shopping and I must park in the far side of the car park I don’t mind, because walking is not a problem anymore.

“Since having weight loss surgery, the biggest impact for me has been at work, I am able to walk a lot further instead of jumping in vehicles and cutting corners. I have a very active life; I work full-time in a farm where we grow strawberries in glass houses. It’s an all year-round job so it keeps me busy and as a family we keep sheep which we like to take to country shows. Winning competitions really does help spur you on to keep going. Before the operation, if I had to sit down to assist an ewe with a lamb, I did find it very difficult to get up.

“The biggest admirer is my mother who is 91 years old. I waited until two weeks before my surgery to tell her and so far, she’s been my biggest supporter. She fully understands why I opted to have it done. My friends and family have been very supportive and it’s always nice when they compliment me.

“My advice to anyone considering weight loss surgery is get plenty of information, get the necessary background knowledge. It’s also great if you can speak to someone who’s had it done who can give you the full details - the pros and the cons.”

Weight loss surgery at Benenden Hospital

To find our more about gastric sleeve surgery and our other weight loss procedures, please complete our online enquiry form or call our Private Patient team on 01580 363158.

Published on 16 November 2021