Patient Story: Bariatric Surgery Transformation

In this article you will find the answer for:

  • What is Bariatric Surgery?
  • How to Find a Good Doctor?
  • Recovering from Gastric Sleeve Surgery.
  • Removing Excess Skin After Weightloss.
  • Regrets About the Bariatric Surgery?

Why Bariatric Surgery?

Brittany Brown is a young lady from Australia passioned about sports and a healthy lifestyle. On her Instagram page, she shares moments from her life that seem happy, full of fun and joyful activities. But it was not always like this. Brittany used to struggle a lot with her weight. As she told us, it got out of control and it stopped her from enjoying life at fullest, it had an impact not only on her confidence but she started to worry about her health and overall well-being. Two years ago she decided it was about time to change this.

"I decided to have weight loss surgery in 2016. My weight had ballooned to 120kgs and I felt my eating habits were out of control. I researched gastric sleeve surgery and booked my surgery date. Once I had the surgery my eating was very restricted and I lost weight quickly. Seeing the results kept me motivated. I found an exercise style I really enjoyed and that also helped me stick to my plan. Feeling confident and comfortable in my body was a big motivator as well."

Finding a Good Doctor

She had to find a doctor in Sydney as there was none that performed such surgeries in her home town. She found one via online research who seemed trustworthy and with good reviews.

"So, I searched online and I actually had a friend who had the surgery as well. I live in a small island state of Australia called Tasmania and at the time, no surgeons here were performing the surgery. I looked online at mainland surgeons and found someone in Sydney who had good recommendations. The initial consultation was great. I felt really reassured and positive. It was scary, the surgery is irreversible but I left knowing this would be a fantastic tool to help me control my weight."

The Weight Loss Surgery

The surgery Brittany had for losing weight was vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery. The surgery removed 85% of her stomach, leaving a small sleeve-like section. It limited the amount of food she could eat by making her feel full after eating small amounts of food. She also had to follow a strict diet before and after the surgery.

"I had to do a 2-week shake diet pre-surgery. Then post, I had 2 weeks liquids, 2 weeks purée then 4 weeks soft food. Cost varies from surgeon to surgeon. In Australia, if you have private health covered you just need the appropriate level that covers bariatric surgery and they will cover a portion of the cost." 

Recovering from a Gastric Sleeve Surgery

From her experience, the recovery was not too difficult, she spent 3 days in the hospital and took 2 weeks off of work. She did not have major pain, just some discomfort and a lot of nausea. Also, she did not have trouble moving, besides being a little stiff and sore. The hardest thing for Brittany was how little she could eat at first, but even with such dietary restrictions, she says the switch wasn’t very difficult.

"The change in diet initially wasn’t hard because I had no hunger sensation. I never felt hungry, I even had to remind myself I needed to eat at times. As time went on and I was able to eat more and my hunger returned. Now I have to be very mindful of what I’m eating. I try my best to stick to a healthy diet and exercise regularly." 

Losing The Weight and Dealing With Excess Skin

After she lost the majority of the desired weight she had to deal with the excess skin. The usual but not as easy solution is plastic surgery. Her recovery after these ones was much harder than the first bariatric surgery, with more pain and a longer period of recovery.

"So I had lost 52kgs by early 2018. I had a lot of excess skin on my stomach arms and breasts. I was referred to see a plastic surgeon who recommended a 360 circumferential lipectomy with muscle repair, breast and arm lift. I had those done in August and September 2018. It was scary. They were big surgeries with long anesthetics. I had to have 3 months off work. The recovery is slow and you need someone’s help for a few weeks. Often you can’t shower for a period of time so I had someone wash my hair. I needed someone to help me in and out of bed. It was hard and because it’s painful and restrictive, it’s frustrating." 

Regrets About the Bariatric Surgery?

Brittany is truly happy with the results of her weight loss surgery and she does not regret it at all. More than this she advises the same procedure to everyone that is in a similar position to her and things its a solution for them.

"Do not wait! If you think weight loss surgery will be a good tool for you, then book an appointment now", said, Brittany.

At the moment she tries to be as active and healthy as possible, she feels more comfortable with her body and is able to reach her fullest potential. She thinks its crucial to treat our body the right way and be healthy in order to feel confident and positive about our appearance. 

"I think it’s important for body positivity to be associated with health and wellbeing, and not with aiming to normalize obesity. I’ve been on both sides of the scales and I know it was very hard for me to feel positive about my body when I was obese, knowing the stress my body was under. Do I feel more positive about my body now? Absolutely, I work hard at maintaining it and treating it well. And in return, it looks after me."

 

Check out Brittany's Instagram page HERE.