Year of successes for Spire Gatwick Park’s weight loss team

The total weight loss of those in the photo is 32 st 6lbsso far. Seated in the front row is Spire G

The total weight loss of those in the photo is 32 st 6lbsso far. Seated in the front row is Spire Gatwick Parks weight loss surgery team - left to right , Consultant Dietician, Lucy Jones, Bariatric Nurse Specialist, Kay Wheeler, Consultant Bariatric Surgeon Simon Monkhouse, Psychotherapist Sarah Wrigglesworth, and Bariatric Support Nurse, Sarah Roche - Credit: Archant

A lighter, brighter group of patients from across the south east joined staff at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital to celebrate the first anniversary of its Weight Loss Clinic.

In the past 12 months, consultant bariatric surgeon Simon Monkhouse and his specialist team at the Horley-based private hospital have helped 58 people lose a total of 127st and 4 lbs.

“It was amazing to see such a happier group of people turn up to celebrate our first year anniversary,” says Mr Monkhouse, “And more important than the total weight loss are the personal victories that these people have achieved since surgery. It was good to see them sharing their stories about how they have taken up activities, renewed their interest in hobbies, and have even reduced or reversed medical conditions such as diabetes.”

Among the patients who attended the celebration was science teacher Rosie, of Croydon. Before she came to Spire Gatwick Park, she had low self-esteem and was very unhappy after 20 years of yo-yo dieting. She reached a size 22-24, weighed 18 stone, and had concerns about her health before deciding to seek help.

Now, since her gastric bypass in October, the confident 58-year-old weighs 11st 10 lbs and says she is more active than ever, and looking forward to the future.

“I feel I am at the start of a new adventure,” she says. “I tried every single diet under the sun and always ended up putting the weight back on, and more. I would absolutely recommend weight loss surgery to anyone who has been in the same situation as me.”

Another patient at the party was 40-year-old Anna of Reigate who had a gastric band fitted in January and has already lost two stone. “I feel so much happier and I can even get into a pair of jeans I last wore five years ago. I have several suitcases of clothes I am looking forward to wearing again as I continue to lose weight.”

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Pub landlord David Stanley, of the Plough in St John’s Redhill, spent the evening sharing his amazing story with fellow partygoers. He has lost seven stone since his sleeve gastrectomy operation in January and his diabetes is on the reverse. He has returned to his favourite hobby of gardening, is walking and swimming again, and can now run around with his young grandchildren.

“I have so much more energy that I just want to tell everybody about it,” he says. “Weight loss surgery is not a magic fix and you have to be very careful what and how much you eat for the rest of your life afterwards, but that is easily outweighed by how good you feel and look.”

Spire Gatwick Park Hospital’s weight loss surgery team assess patients to see if they can proceed with surgery and then supports them for two years afterwards, both emotionally and with practical advice. Patients also become lifelong members of the weight loss support group which meets regularly.

“Patients have to work very hard themselves, both before and after surgery, but they are supported with psychotherapy, dietary advice and the hands-on care of our bariatric nurses,” adds Mr Monkhouse. “We are not going to make a dent in the obesity levels of the nation, but we will make a massive difference to individuals. Weight loss surgery will change their lives forever, and it can put diabetes into remission for good.”

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