After Katie (27) lost an incredible 12 stone with the aid of a gastric band in 2013, she had an amazing new body weight. But having excess skin and a reduced breast size because of the weight she’d lost meant that she still didn’t quite have the shape she’d dreamed of.
Although Katie was at her lowest weight for years, she was still buying size 12 clothes to cover the areas she didn’t like. Sometimes that even meant that she’d keep a jacket on when she was out socialising, to hide them away.
After a while, she decided it was time to make the change, and with the support of her family she started the final stages of her transformation – undergoing a tummy tuck in 2018 and a breast augmentation in 2019.
Katie remembers, “In my early twenties, I’d hit rock bottom. I’d found changes in my personal life pretty hard to take and had turned to food for comfort. I work for the prison service, and whilst I could just ignore the horrible comments the prisoners would make about my weight, it got to the point where my boss took me to one side and asked if there was anything they could do to support me in looking after myself. I decided to have gastric band surgery, and through a lot of hard work and effort, I lost 12 stone.
I was over the moon. I was finally at the weight that I’d always wanted to be – and I looked great when wearing clothes. But after all that weight loss, I was still very self-conscious about my body image. I had lots of excess skin, and my breasts were pretty much non-existent – just skin with nothing much filling them!
I decided to do research into having a tummy tuck, and had consultations with a couple of different providers. My friend had recommended The Hospital Group, so they were on my list to speak to, too. And when I did, I felt like I was talking to friends. I wasn’t just a pound sign to them, they seemed to really care. From the receptionist to the patient advisors, nurses, surgeon, and everyone in between, they were all so lovely and caring, and that really helped get me through the nerves I felt.
When it came to having my breast enlargement, where I was going to have the surgery wasn’t even a question any more. The Hospital Group was my first and only choice.
The surgeries went really smoothly. Everyone in the theatre team came to meet me beforehand, including my surgeon. I have a real phobia of needles, and they were all so kind and reassuring – one of the nurses even held and stroked my hand until the anaesthesia kicked in!
The tummy tuck was a long surgery, and there were 2 nights of recovery time in hospital, but again the nurses were spot on. They checked on me routinely to make sure everything was all right. Nothing was too much trouble – I even dropped my phone charger at one point and had to call for them to pick it up for me as I had no stomach strength, and still they were all smiles and kindness.
My surgeon, Mr Bhatty, was unreal. He’s been such an amazing help throughout all of this. I had so many questions, and he was always there to help. Yes, I lost the weight initially, but Mr Bhatty is the one who really changed my life. He’s brought everything back into proportion and given me body confidence again.
My life has changed in every way – what I wear, my holiday choices, my relationships with people, and of course how I feel about myself. I was always the bigger girl and the one who was bullied at school because of it. But now I can go on nights out, be just ‘one of the girls,’ and wear whatever I want to wear. I don’t have to hide myself away any more. I have an older sister who has always been very slim, and we can even share clothes these days!
My family has been a real strength and support throughout. My mum has been so helpful and kind and has been to every appointment with me. After the recovery from my surgeries, my sister and I went to do some serious shopping! I was still in the old mindset of buying everything in size 12, because I used to hide away my extra stomach skin in bigger tops. But when I came home, my sister gave me a good talking to and made me take everything back and get them in size 8. And they fit amazingly well!
I used to wear clothes that hid the bits of my body I didn’t like. But now, there’s nothing not to like!
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