Note: Individual results might vary
For fours years I researched all about the Gastric Band. I even made and appointment in Union Quay (the Cosmetic Clinic). I spoke with a lady in Belgium whom I found on the internet. I was gearing up to go abroad to have this surgery done. But my main worry was After Care . I knew, being a Health Care Assistant, that this would be of high importance.
How I found out about the Bons
One day I phoned a private hospital in Shandon Street Cork. I spoke to a very helpful Receptionist. I explained to her how I was very interested in the gastric band. She advised me to ring the Bons Secours Hospital in Cork. That night while on the Bon Secours website I clicked the link on Cork Obesity Surgery and was thrilled to see all about the procedures that are done in the hospital.
The following morning I rang Mr Colm O’Boyle’s clinic and spoke with his secretary Catriona who explained a lot of things to me. She kindly advised me to make an appointment - and I have never looked back.
Why I felt the need for surgery
I was always a very active person and walked for miles every day. I also went to Curves (ladies only gym). But all this stopped when my feet became swollen and I found it difficult to walk. My knees would cause me a lot of pain and if I did manage to go for a walk I would suffer a lot of aches and pains for two days.
Whilst pregnant with my second child I put on 5stone. So straight after the birth of my son I began dieting. I did the Slimfast Diet, Motivation Diet, Cambridge Diet, Weight Watchers. I was also prescribed Reductil Tablets. Although I did manage to lose weight on these diets I just wasn’t able to keep it off. Then on my third pregnancy I developed Gestational Diabetes. It was a frightening experience for me - especially when I had to inject myself. The nurses told me if I didn’t change my lifestyle I would become a diabetic for life. I knew I had to do something about my weight as I could hardly walk and I couldn’t bend down. I wanted to be able to play with my children. This is when I decided I was going to have the gastric band done.
When I met with Mr. Colm O’Boyle he advised me to have the gastric bypass surgery as most people were having complications with the gastric band (especially in the UK). He went over all about the gastric band, gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy with me before he recommended that I have a gastric bypass done. I found Mr. Colm O’Boyle to be very friendly and he put all my fears at rest. Within weeks of our meeting I was sent for various tests.I arrived at 8am in the morning for the day-case tests. The nurses were so nice and I was so relaxed - so much so that I had the gastroscopy done in my senses.
VHI are my health insurers. One morning, I received a letter from them stating they were not going to cover this operation for me. I was absolutely devastated. I rang Catriona (Mr. O’Boyle’s secretary) who thank God put my mind at rest. She said that Mr. O’Boyle would write to them on my behalf. My GP also wrote to them explaining that I had a lot of health problems related to my obesity. Within in 2 weeks VHI covered me.
Meeting Dr. Gillian Moore-Groarke
Before you are given the go ahead you must meet up with a psychologist. Dr. Moore-Groarke is a well known psychologist who will talk everything through with you and she will decide if you are ready for this operation. I found Gillian to be very helpful and witty and I enjoyed our visits.
After my meeting with Mr. O’Boyle I was referred to see a dietician in the Bons. I met with Karen who went over a diet plan with me. She also weighed me and spoke to me about high cholesterol and my body fat. After my operation I met with Diarmuid who had a diet sheet available for me. He explained everything in detail to me. He also gave me a lot of websites to get recipes and tips on what you can eat after surgery. They were a great help to me.
My operation was set for the end of September 2011. I was so excited that I had my bags packed in August. I was booked in on the Tuesday and had my operation the Wednesday at 3pm. For two days after my surgery I was very tired but as each day went on I felt much better. By Friday morning I was feeling great and moving around without difficulty. Then on the Saturday I was discharged and God love me I felt very bump on the road going home. I stayed with my friend and her husband who tended to my every need. I absolutely love her so much. I stayed in bed for a full week and the only discomfort I had was a pain in my left side which a lot of patients complain about. But this usually only lasts 4-6 weeks.
Support Group Meetings
Every month Ilove going to the support group meetings. They are a friendly bunch of people who share their stories and tips. There is great banter at these meetings. Mr. O’Boyle recommends people to attend for advice and psychological support. Whilst at these meetings you can see the results in people who have had surgery. Noone has any regrets. I have made friends for life there.
After the operation
I was almost 18 stone before having this operation in September 2011. I am now (8 months later) 11 ½ stone. Yes, I am so happy. I feel so much younger now. I’m gone from a size 22-24 to size 12-14. I am very active again. I jog every morning. I can’t believe this as I was the ‘fat girl’ who could barely walk – never mind run. I found it extremely hard to bend down and now I am doing sit-ups and press ups. Most importantly I now can play with my children. I love the fact I can go swimming with them, run with them in the school sports, play with them in the park. It is just a fantastic feeling. I can now cross my legs, which I still thrive on.
I am extremely pleased with the after care team. I feel Mr. O’Boyle’s team are wonderful and so professional. If you have any worries or queries all you have to do is pick up the phone and they are there for your. Now I am so satisfied I didn’t go abroad to have this surgery as I know there is advice available for me if I need it.
Only a few of my family and close friends know I have had this operation. When people started asking me how did I lost the weight I found myself getting very guilty and lying to them. This is one I feel I need to keep private as some people just don’t understand. I have heard comments like ‘they have cheated and they took the easy way out’. What they fail to understand is I did this for health reasons and for my children – not to look good and be able to buy clothes (although it helps). I did this for me and my family so I would be there for them, not confined to bed due to obesity. This is the best decision that I have ever made in my life and anyone who is reading this and thinking about having this operation done, I say to you, go for it. You have nothing to lose only weight, weight, weight. I would also advise to have the operation done at near your hometown as the aftercare from Mr. O’Boyle and his team are excellent. Thank God I found him.