After years of struggling with her weight, she decided to take drastic action and have permanent weight loss surgery. More specifically, she had gastric sleeve surgery. We say drastic, because the gastric sleeve surgery involves removing a large portion of the stomach and leaving only a small sleeve that connects to the intestines and oesophagus. The gastric sleeve is different to gastric bypass surgery because it does not alter the digestive system, resulting in fewer complications associated with malabsorption and a speedier recovery.
Tracey shares her experience with the surgery, the recovery and how the decision to have the procedure has changed her life.
Why did you resort to bariatric surgery?
I was sick of not having control over my eating. I had been on every diet known to man. You name it I tried it. Every Monday I started out with great intentions by lunch time it was all over. I needed to do this for me as I was just on a diet merry go round.
What procedure did you have done?
I had gastric sleeve surgery which involves cutting out of three quarters of your stomach
How long did you have to wait between consulting with your surgeon and having the surgery?
About 3 months. My surgeon armed me with a wealth of knowledge. I had to see a dietician before hand as well as a full medical and I used that time to be well prepared
How did you find your surgeon?
I did a lot of research online and he also came highly recommended from a close friend Why did you or your surgeon prefer decide on the gastric sleeve My surgeon believed that the long term effects of the sleeve were better for me than the lap band. Lap band has a lot of maintenance and side effects such as vomiting and of course there’s the fills you need to get. Lap band is also not permanent we felt that I needed a permanent solution.
What did you need to do to prepare for your surgery?
I had to see a dietician to make sure that I had a proper diet in place for after the surgery. Two weeks before surgery I had to have a very low calorie liquid diet to shrink the liver so that my surgeon could access my stomach.
What was your recovery like
I spent three nights in hospital and required two weeks off work. I had to ease into eating different foods, starting out clear liquids for 2 weeks, progressing on to soft food for 2 weeks then mushy food after that. Immediately afterwards I was very restricted with what I could eat. I always felt full very quickly and it took some time to get used to that feeling.
How has it impacted on your life?
My life of yo yo dieting is gone. Sleeve surgery for me was a great tool to help me loose the weight I needed. By no means is it a quick fix though, it was still hard work. I still make sure that I eat healthy now and I don’t drink any drinks with sugar, Its protein first when it comes to meals and I eat as clean as I can.
Are you happy with your choice to have surgery
Absolutely I love my sleeve but it was not an easy fix thats for sure.