Tracey, 54, from Tolworth in Surrey, is the first patient to undergo bariatric Gastric Sleeve surgery at Kingston Private Health.
Sleeve Gastrectomy, using its formal title, is typically performed laparoscopically and during surgery, around 75% of the stomach is removed. This reduces the patient’s stomach capacity therefore limiting the amount they can eat. It also changes the way enzymes work, so usually a patient undergoing this surgery will also feel full more quickly than before.
Tracey says: “I have been a Registered General Nurse throughout my career and until recently ran my own business. However, throughout my life, I’ve been overweight and really struggled despite trying numerous diets.
“I was infected with Covid early on in the pandemic and became very unwell. That same year I developed Gallstone Pancreatitis, Type 2 Diabetes and subsequently needed to have my gallbladder removed. Walking even a small distance was a challenge; I was breathless, and generally in pain, and I started making excuses so that I didn’t have to leave the house. To be very honest, this all took its toll, and I became very low mentally about my health and my weight.
“I then had a post-surgery follow-up appointment at Kingston Private Health with Mr. Ioannis Gerogiannis the surgeon who performed my gallbladder operation. This meeting was revelational. He said he would like to talk to me about the possibility of weight loss surgery. He went on to tell me that this surgery would be life-giving and life-changing, and it was certainly not a ‘cop out,’ cheating, nor would it make me a failure. I had tried so many options to lose weight and this surgery was an extreme choice but the best choice.
“The option of having this surgery at Kingston Private Health appealed to me as I was advised that there was a possibility of needing intensive care immediately after it. Because of its location within Kingston Hospital, Kingston Private Health has immediate access to intensive care.”
Tracey had her surgery in November 2022 – without needing intensive care support – and describes “feeling free” immediately after waking from surgery. She says: “It felt like a black cloud had been lifted from me, which I had been carrying around for over 40 years.”
Tracey recuperated in our private patient unit and gives praise to the whole staff team. She explains: “Every member of the staff team, from the Porter to the Anaesthetist to the Matron were so lovely, attentive and kind. There was a real sense of calm within the private patient ward.
“Mr G, as he is affectionately known, checked up on me regularly. I can honestly say he is the most compassionate and caring Consultant myself and my husband have ever met. He listens and is invested in you as a person. He totally ‘saw ME’ and ‘understood ME’ as an individual.”
A few months on from her operation and Tracey now regularly swims three times a week and can walk much further distances than she was previously able to. She is losing weight and continues to trust in the process.
She adds: “I’m sleeping better, I don’t need a nap during the day. My bloods have gone back to normal and I’m hopeful my Diabetes will reverse too. I can walk much faster and I just feel so content. I’m enjoying my food now, in much smaller portions, feeling no guilt, just joy. This is the best decision I have ever made. My only regret is not doing it sooner!”
Find out more about bariatric sleeve surgery here.