Category: <span>Surgery</span>

I’ve been through the all the pre-surgery assessments. I’ve met with the surgeon. All I need now is my date of surgery.

It’s a bit frustrating waiting to know when this will happen. It seems that everything else is on hold until I get that date. I can’t book holidays, I can’t make plans with friends, and I can’t let work know about my absence. Not until I get my date.

Once I have my date, then I can plan for the dieting before the surgery, and the recovery time after. The estimate is that I’ll need 2-4 weeks off work after the surgery, which obviously means that I’ll be out of action for a while.

I’ve asked the surgeon’s secretary a few times, but she keeps putting me off saying she’ll let me know soon.

So I guess I’ll just have to carry on waiting.


I feel very lucky that my employer gives me private health insurance. Without it I think my experience of being referred for bariatric surgery would be considerably different.

My oncologist had said to me that he wanted to refer to me to some colleagues to deal with my weight, but I didn’t think much more about it until I received an invite to a free information evening run by the bariatric team in my hospital.

I hadn’t ever thought of surgery as a way of dealing with my weight. I’d heard of people getting gastric bypasses, but I thought of it in the same league as cosmetic surgery – something that only people with lots of money could hope to afford.

The invite talked of a range of options including diet, exercise, medication and surgery. And when I agreed to go along, my intention was to perhaps to try some medication to help me lose weight.

I learned a lot that night that changed my mind.

First of all, it was a revelation to learn that the medical community is now treating obesity as a disease. And instead of being lectured to and made to feel embarrassed for being so overweight, they actually sympathised with everyone’s weight struggles. They said that medical thinking had changed a lot in recent years. It used to be that the emphasis was much higher on prevention (diet and exercise) rather than treatment (surgery). But that approach hadn’t worked. And now the emphasis has shifted greatly towards treatment, as it’s much more effective than preventative measures.

Second of all, I was surprised to learn that the cost of weight loss surgery is covered by private health insurance. The insurance industry are willing to pay for bariatric surgery in the short term to avoid having to treat the multitude of obesity-related illnesses in the longer term.

These two facts changed my mind about going for surgery.

After that I met with a series of medics on a one-to-one basis, including a dietitian, a phycologist and finally my surgeon. They wanted to discuss my weight struggles, my attempts to lose weight in the past, and my state of mind. They explained what surgery involved, both in a physical way and what emotional effect it would have on me.

So I feel like I’m going into the whole thing with my eyes open. It’s certainly not going to be an easy fix for my weight. Going under the surgeon’s knife is only the start of a long and difficult journey. But I know it’s one that I want – and need – to take.

At the moment, I’ve been assessed as suitable for a gastric bypass. My insurance company has confirmed that I’m covered for the procedure. And I’m just waiting for my surgery date.


There’s loads of very scary health risks that obese people face, including Type 2 Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease, Stroke, Cancer, Sleep Apnea, and others.

I knew I was at risk of all of these, but for a long time I thought I was bullet proof. I would be the exception to the rule, and manage to be overweight but healthy.

But then 5 years ago that all changed. I had been sick for a while with a bad skin condition, and then I got what I thought were a series of chest infections. What it turned out to be was cancer. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma, and the cancer had spread from my Lymph nodes into my lungs!

Luckily I responded well to the 6 months of chemotherapy and some follow-up radiotherapy, and I’ve been cancer-free since the summer of 2016.

However, and this is a big however, being obese increases my chances of it coming back!

My oncologist has told me on several occasions that he’s worried about my weight. In fact it was him that eventually got fed up of my inaction and referred me to the bariatric team.

And he’s right to have pushed me in that direction, because as it turns out I’m not the exception to the rule. I didn’t dodge the bullet. My obesity most likely was a big contributor to me getting cancer, and yet here I am years later and I’m still the same size!

It’s as if I haven’t learned anything.

So the hope is that by having bariatric surgery I will finally be forced to address my over-eating disorder, and get down to a more healthy weight. Because if I don’t, then I’m definitely on borrowed time.

I’ve already had cancer, I currently have untreated high blood pressure, and I’m probably on the brink of developing diabetes and sleep apnea.

You could say that my health is at crisis point!

Sickness Surgery

I’ve tried going to Slimming World and Weight Watchers numerous times. I’ve tried counting calories using apps and websites. I’ve tried following dietitians advice. And when I do follow these plan, it works and I do lose weight.

The problem is when I stop.

I’m a typical yo-yo dieter. I follow a healthy eating plan and lose weight, and then something happens – usually a bit emotional upheaval – and then I stop the eating healthily, and over time I regain all the weight I lost and often some more!

I know it’s wrong, and I am ashamed of my actions, but I can’t help myself. I reach for food as an emotional crutch and as a reward. My portion sizes for main meals are too big, and I also eat a lot of sugary snacks during the day.

So what are my options?

I could stay obese, and gradually over the years get bigger and bigger until my weight kills me. Or I could take the somewhat drastic action and go down the surgical route.

And so, in the next few months I’m going to have a gastric bypass.

It’s both scary and exciting at the same time. Scary, because it means that my relationship with food is going to change, and exciting because it’s my best hope of getting to and hopefully maintaining a healthy weight.

I’ve already gone though the preliminary stages of being evaluated by the bariatric team in the hospital, and at this stage I’m just waiting for a date for my surgery!

My Story Surgery