Val Matthew’s Patient Journey
I had struggled with my weight for some time following surgeries and medical conditions that had resulted in my gaining weight. I wasn’t overweight in my thirties and early forties and always had felt that I was a slim person trapped in a fat body.
I had had a stroke when I was 48 and overweight, but not as overweight as I was before the surgery.
In my fifties I developed a hiatus hernia and suffered with chronic acid reflux, to the point where I had been advised for a few years to have it operated on as I had developed Barratt’s oesophagus (cells in my oesophagus caused by the acid which had a potential to develop into cancer.
Recently I had been diagnosed with high blood pressure, which was another concern.
For a couple of months before the bypass I had been having strange feelings of wooziness that felt very much like when I had the stroke – obviously I was concerned that I was having TIAs and could lead to a major stroke.
Before gaining weight I had always been very active and regularly walked long distances with my husband. As the weight crept on walking distances shortened as I was out of breath and suffered with pain in my arthritic knees.
My GP recommended I have a gastric bypass. I was referred on the NHS but, after the first appointment I realised that the process could take years and I felt that I didn’t have that time to spare. I decided to research the best bariatric surgeons in the northwest and came upon Professor Senapati. I decided to make an appointment to see if I was suitable for a gastric bypass and to see what the timescale would be to go private.
Professor Senapati advised me that the gastric bypass would be the most suitable procedure and briefly explained the procedure to me. When I told him about my hiatus hernia he said he would also correct this at the same time. He offered me a surgery date in three weeks’ time - I accepted straight away as felt I had been given a lifeline.
It is now six months since the surgeries and my life has changed dramatically.
The dizzy spells I had been experiencing – which may have indicated possible future strokes – have stopped completely. This is a huge relief.
I have no acid reflux – which is remarkable saying that I had suffered with this for the past 6 years, I have also been able to stop taking the Omeprazole which was worrying me as there are side effects from taking it long-term.
I am currently monitoring my blood pressure for my GP and it is looking highly likely that the medication for this will be reduced and then stopped completely.
I can now walk without having to stop to catch my breath after short distances and my knees have stopped aching.
The added bonus, of course, is how the weight loss has affected my appearance.
It is 6 months since I had my gastric bypass. I was 17½ stone and wore size 20/22 clothes. I have now lost 5 stone and am wearing size 14/16 clothes and am still losing.
I am even wearing some of my clothes that I had 20 years ago. The compliments I get are obviously a bonus too.
It is not an easy option and needs to be worked at to make it successful – but that is a small price to pay for getting my health back.
I feel that having the gastric bypass has literally saved my life and owe my deepest gratitude to Professor Senapati and his team.