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Complete Guide to WLS at Homerton - 2020

koralie

New Member
Hi Everyone,

I have just had my surgery and have a lot of spare time while I'm home recovering so I thought I’d share.

When I first started this journey I tried to research everything. From the procedure, time frames and generally what to expect. Although there was some information on here, I couldn't find a recent, comprehensive post of what I wanted to see. So now that I have been through it, I would like to share my experience for all those who will go on this journey after me.

Firstly, my GP refused to refer me until I had achieved the bare minimum required which was a history of trying to lose weight (10w weight management group) and no vitamin deficiencies. Also, in my borough, there was no Tier 3 requirement.

Secondly, I was an ‘easy case’; I have no health problems. So if you have sleep apnoea, mental health, diabetes or anything else, your journey may be different. But aside from that, these are all the steps you will have to take.

Finally, I was very proactive and took control of things whenever possible. Eg. Calling to book appointments rather than waiting for them to be allocated. This sped things up for me drastically in comparison to others I’ve spoken to who just waited and their journey has been prolonged by at least a year.


The beginning



My journey started in October 2018 when I started my 3-month weight management group. I attended 6/10 sessions so was given an incomplete.

After 18 years of smoking, I decided to stop on 27th December 2018. This was initially as I thought I would have the surgery within a couple of months. A year later and I have yet to buy fags and have also saved a lot of money. This also helped to show how serious I was about having this surgery.

In January 2019 I did the weight management group again and attended 10/10 sessions. At this point my doctor tested me for vitamin deficiencies; I had an iron and vitamin D deficiency.

From April 2019 - June 2019 I took the vitamins I lacked. At the end of June, I was tested again and my results came back as normal levels of all vitamins.

This stage of my journey took me 9 months. But it could have been 3 months if I completed the weight management group the first time around and got tested for deficiencies straight away.

Tip 1- If you are considering the surgery but haven’t even spoken to your doctor about it yet, just start taking A-Z multivitamins and minerals. (I used Tesco brand - but any are fine)


The Referral… and beyond


On July 2nd, my doctor referred me to Homerton. I received a letter a couple of days later to notify me of this; I then called the hospital and booked my appointments.

My first appointment was on July 12th - I saw a nurse who went through a questionnaire and weighed me. I had blood taken and also attended the mandatory group session which gave information on the surgery etc. (This is when I actually started taking A-Z multivitamins and minerals)

On July 22nd I met my surgeon. She spoke to me about the surgery options and explained MDT. I also had a weigh-in.

In late August I received a letter stating that my MDT meeting happened on August 21st and I was approved for surgery. A couple of days later I was sent another letter stating that I had a follow-up appointment booked for September 23rd.

On September 23rd I met my surgeon again who went through the surgery options with me and asked me to choose which I would prefer; I chose to have a sleeve. On this day, they told me I could have my pre-op assessments done but unfortunately pre-op wasn't taking walks in that day so I had to book for a later date.

On October 9th I had my pre-op assessment done. They weighed me, took blood and my blood pressure. They filled out a questionnaire and then gave me info for the 2 days prior to my surgery date. (I could have gotten an earlier date for this but I didn’t want to take time off work)

If I had known the MDT would happen so quickly, I would have booked the 2nd surgeon appointment a month after the 1st one and would've booked the pre-op assessment in advance for the same day.

Tip 2 - After my pre-op assessment, I was put on the waiting list and was told it could take 3 months to get a surgery date. However, I was very proactive! 2 weeks later, I was given my surgery date [December 13th]! (It is typically a 6-week wait from when they give you your date to the day of the actual surgery)

Tip 3 - Take ‘before’ pictures! You might regret not having them in the future.



The surgery -



On November 12th I attended the hospital for the pre-surgery session. I had to do the second compulsory group session which included learning about the liver shrinking diet, speaking to a physiotherapist and a nurse. I was not weighed at this appointment and no blood was taken.

I did a massive online shop which included all the things I would need for the liver shrinking diet and 3 weeks post-op - in total I spent over £200 on just Slimfast and a further £100 on other things like protein powder, squash, jelly, bottled water etc.

I was scheduled to do the liver shrinking diet for 2 weeks which I started on November 29th. I chose to do option 1 which was the Slimfast option. It is very expensive but as I work full-time, it was the most convenient. On day 4, hunger made me regret my choice and I wished I chose the food option… but I persevered!

As I live alone, I deep cleaned the entire house 2 weeks before surgery. The day before my surgery I set up my bedside with things I needed so I was as prepared as possible. I decided to go to the hospital alone but after surgery I had family pick me up as I wanted help to settle back in at home.

On December 13th I was told to arrive at 7 am. I was the 3rd surgery booked at 2 pm but was switched to the first surgery at 9 am. All went well and I was kept for 3 nights before returning home on Monday 16th December 2019.

Initially, recovery was a little tough for me. I was sick for an entire day and weren’t able to hold down pain medication. This settled down quickly and soon after all I wanted was my bed. Overall, recovery has been easy and a success.

Tip 4 - Don't lose any of the paperwork/literature you get throughout your journey! I didn’t look at any of them when I initially got them but the closer my surgery got, they became my Holy Grail.

Tip 5 - Plan ahead! It really doesn't matter how you do it or what you do, just prepare!!

Deep clean your house a couple of weeks before surgery.
Buy some cheap comfy clothes in a slightly smaller size for your impending weight loss. Maybe throw out some current clothes to mentally prepare yourself too.
Decide what liver shrinking diet and you want to do and stock up on supplies.
Buy everything you need for post-surgery liquids when you do pre-surgery shop.
Pack your suitcase ahead of time. Make a list of all the things you need/want and have it ready to go. (see my list below)
Plan your surgery day ahead of time. Eg. What time to leave the house, how long does it take to get there, what will you wear etc.
Make arrangements for post-surgery pick up - remember, you won't be able to lift anything inc. the suitcase you have with you.
Have a real conversation with yourself! Ask if you're really ready for this. Embrace your fears. Then work through that fear by reading more and preparing yourself.
Is your partner ready for this journey? Are your kids, family and friends?
Also, read and fully prepare for the first 2/3 weeks post-op and also the pureed food phase. Maybe have a basket prepped online so when the time comes you just book the delivery.



Altogether, my journey took 14 months but from referral to surgery, it took 5 months.
(excluding a lifetime of weight issues and endless dieting)​


I didn’t know what to take to the hospital so I did some research online. The list below is what I took based on some article I read and things I wanted to have. All items didn't end up being used.

Loose clothes for the journey home
Loose-fitting nightwear
Toothbrush/paste
Non-slip slippers
Dry mouth spray
Dressing gown
Shower gel
Hairband
Flannel
Baby wipes
Wireless bra
Loose underwear
Wired headphones
Vaseline/ chapstick
Flip flops for the shower
Pillow for the journey home
Medication and vitamins
Long lead phone charger
1 or 2 Slimfast (just in case)
Pre-mixed sugar-free squash
Bottle of water (I don't like tap)
iPad/laptop/phone (plus chargers)


Negativity


When I told friends and family about my surgery I got some negative responses. They would say, ‘Don’t do it!’ or ‘Just go to the gym.’ or ‘You should trade chocolate for nuts.’ or ‘Just eat healthier.’ or they just put negativity out in the universe (if you know what I mean). One of these people is my sibling who has always teased me about my weight.

These comments were really traumatising but they were the catalyst to me wanting this even more, doing more research and ensuring I was as physically, mentally and emotionally ready as possible. I also began to tell some people I wasn't having the surgery anymore and was going to a weight loss wellness centre. This definitely stopped a lot of the negative comments.

Let me know if you want to hear about my post-op experience. After a few months, I could give another update like this.

I hope this has helped and good luck on your journey.
 
Last edited:

Bling Babe

Well-Known Member
Hi Everyone,

I have just had my surgery and have a lot of spare time while I'm home recovering so I thought I’d share.

When I first started this journey I tried to research everything. From the procedure, time frames and generally what to expect. Although there was some information on here, I couldn't find a recent, comprehensive post of what I wanted to see. So now that I have been through it, I would like to share my experience for all those who will go on this journey after me.

Firstly, my GP refused to refer me until I had achieved the bare minimum required which was a history of trying to lose weight (10w weight management group) and no vitamin deficiencies. Also, in my borough, there was no Tier 3 requirement.

Secondly, I was an ‘easy case’; I have no health problems. So if you have sleep apnoea, mental health, diabetes or anything else, your journey may be different. But aside from that, these are all the steps you will have to take.

Finally, I was very proactive and took control of things whenever possible. Eg. Calling to book appointments rather than waiting for them to be allocated. This sped things up for me drastically in comparison to others I’ve spoken to who just waited and their journey has been prolonged by at least a year.


The beginning



My journey started in October 2018 when I started my 3-month weight management group. I attended 6/10 sessions so was given an incomplete.

After 18 years of smoking, I decided to stop on 27th December 2018. This was initially as I thought I would have the surgery within a couple of months. A year later and I have yet to buy fags and have also saved a lot of money. This also helped to show how serious I was about having this surgery.

In January 2019 I did the weight management group again and attended 10/10 sessions. At this point my doctor tested me for vitamin deficiencies; I had an iron and vitamin D deficiency.

From April 2019 - June 2019 I took the vitamins I lacked. At the end of June, I was tested again and my results came back as normal levels of all vitamins.

This stage of my journey took me 9 months. But it could have been 3 months if I completed the weight management group the first time around and got tested for deficiencies straight away.

Tip 1- If you are considering the surgery but haven’t even spoken to your doctor about it yet, just start taking A-Z multivitamins and minerals. (I used Tesco brand - but any are fine)


The Referral… and beyond


On July 2nd, my doctor referred me to Homerton. I received a letter a couple of days later to notify me of this; I then called the hospital and booked my appointments.

My first appointment was on July 12th - I saw a nurse who went through a questionnaire and weighed me. I had blood taken and also attended the mandatory group session which gave information on the surgery etc. (This is when I actually started taking A-Z multivitamins and minerals)

On July 22nd I met my surgeon. She spoke to me about the surgery options and explained MDT. I also had a weigh-in.

In late August I received a letter stating that my MDT meeting happened on August 21st and I was approved for surgery. A couple of days later I was sent another letter stating that I had a follow-up appointment booked for September 23rd.

On September 23rd I met my surgeon again who went through the surgery options with me and asked me to choose which I would prefer; I chose to have a sleeve. On this day, they told me I could have my pre-op assessments done but unfortunately pre-op wasn't taking walks in that day so I had to book for a later date.

On October 9th I had my pre-op assessment done. They weighed me, took blood and my blood pressure. They filled out a questionnaire and then gave me info for the 2 days prior to my surgery date. (I could have gotten an earlier date for this but I didn’t want to take time off work)

If I had known the MDT would happen so quickly, I would have booked the 2nd surgeon appointment a month after the 1st one and would've booked the pre-op assessment in advance for the same day.

Tip 2 - After my pre-op assessment, I was put on the waiting list and was told it could take 3 months to get a surgery date. However, I was very proactive! 2 weeks later, I was given my surgery date [December 13th]! (It is typically a 6-week wait from when they give you your date to the day of the actual surgery)

Tip 3 - Take ‘before’ pictures! You might regret not having them in the future.



The surgery -



On November 12th I attended the hospital for the pre-surgery session. I had to do the second compulsory group session which included learning about the liver shrinking diet, speaking to a physiotherapist and a nurse. I was not weighed at this appointment and no blood was taken.

I did a massive online shop which included all the things I would need for the liver shrinking diet and 3 weeks post-op - in total I spent over £200 on just Slimfast and a further £100 on other things like protein powder, squash, jelly, bottled water etc.

I was scheduled to do the liver shrinking diet for 2 weeks which I started on November 29th. I chose to do option 1 which was the Slimfast option. It is very expensive but as I work full-time, it was the most convenient. On day 4, hunger made me regret my choice and I wished I chose the food option… but I persevered!

As I live alone, I deep cleaned the entire house 2 weeks before surgery. The day before my surgery I set up my bedside with things I needed so I was as prepared as possible. I decided to go to the hospital alone but after surgery I had family pick me up as I wanted help to settle back in at home.

On December 13th I was told to arrive at 7 am. I was the 3rd surgery booked at 2 pm but was switched to the first surgery at 9 am. All went well and I was kept for 3 nights before returning home on Monday 16th December 2019.

Initially, recovery was a little tough for me. I was sick for an entire day and weren’t able to hold down pain medication. This settled down quickly and soon after all I wanted was my bed. Overall, recovery has been easy and a success.

Tip 4 - Don't lose any of the paperwork/literature you get throughout your journey! I didn’t look at any of them when I initially got them but the closer my surgery got, they became my Holy Grail.

Tip 5 - Plan ahead! It really doesn't matter how you do it or what you do, just prepare!!

Deep clean your house a couple of weeks before surgery.
Buy some cheap comfy clothes in a slightly smaller size for your impending weight loss. Maybe throw out some current clothes to mentally prepare yourself too.
Decide what liver shrinking diet and you want to do and stock up on supplies.
Buy everything you need for post-surgery liquids when you do pre-surgery shop.
Pack your suitcase ahead of time. Make a list of all the things you need/want and have it ready to go. (see my list below)
Plan your surgery day ahead of time. Eg. What time to leave the house, how long does it take to get there, what will you wear etc.
Make arrangements for post-surgery pick up - remember, you won't be able to lift anything inc. the suitcase you have with you.
Have a real conversation with yourself! Ask if you're really ready for this. Embrace your fears. Then work through that fear by reading more and preparing yourself.
Is your partner ready for this journey? Are your kids, family and friends?
Also, read and fully prepare for the first 2/3 weeks post-op and also the pureed food phase. Maybe have a basket prepped online so when the time comes you just book the delivery.



Altogether, my journey took 14 months but from referral to surgery, it took 5 months.
(excluding a lifetime of weight issues and endless dieting)​


I didn’t know what to take to the hospital so I did some research online. The list below is what I took based on some article I read and things I wanted to have. All items didn't end up being used.

Loose clothes for the journey home
Loose-fitting nightwear
Toothbrush/paste
Non-slip slippers
Dry mouth spray
Dressing gown
Shower gel
Hairband
Flannel
Baby wipes
Wireless bra
Loose underwear
Wired headphones
Vaseline/ chapstick
Flip flops for the shower
Pillow for the journey home
Medication and vitamins
Long lead phone charger
1 or 2 Slimfast (just in case)
Pre-mixed sugar-free squash
Bottle of water (I don't like tap)
iPad/laptop/phone (plus chargers)


Negativity


When I told friends and family about my surgery I got some negative responses. They would say, ‘Don’t do it!’ or ‘Just go to the gym.’ or ‘You should trade chocolate for nuts.’ or ‘Just eat healthier.’ or they just put negativity out in the universe (if you know what I mean). One of these people is my sibling who has always teased me about my weight.

These comments were really traumatising but they were the catalyst to me wanting this even more, doing more research and ensuring I was as physically, mentally and emotionally ready as possible. I also began to tell some people I wasn't having the surgery anymore and was going to a weight loss wellness centre. This definitely stopped a lot of the negative comments.

Let me know if you want to hear about my post-op experience. After a few months, I could give another update like this.

I hope this has helped and good luck on your journey.
Good luck with your continued journey, keep us updated on your progress, there is a lot of informatio, advice and support available on this forum but a lot of us have moved to the bronze section so you need 100 posts to access these. It always amazes me how all hospitals are different with our journe. Also very well done on stopping smoking, I have a smoking cessation appointment on 8th Januar, I’m dreading giving up but I must for health reasons x
 

Tubbycustard

New Member
Congratulations!!
reading this has made me really worried,I had my first appointment on the 13th of this month at Homerton Hospital, did my measurements, ECG, bloods and group presentation and I thought that means I’ve been accepted. Only to read here anout MDT whats that about? Can i still be refused? xx
 

Cjap90

New Member
Hi Everyone,

I have just had my surgery and have a lot of spare time while I'm home recovering so I thought I’d share.

When I first started this journey I tried to research everything. From the procedure, time frames and generally what to expect. Although there was some information on here, I couldn't find a recent, comprehensive post of what I wanted to see. So now that I have been through it, I would like to share my experience for all those who will go on this journey after me.

Firstly, my GP refused to refer me until I had achieved the bare minimum required which was a history of trying to lose weight (10w weight management group) and no vitamin deficiencies. Also, in my borough, there was no Tier 3 requirement.

Secondly, I was an ‘easy case’; I have no health problems. So if you have sleep apnoea, mental health, diabetes or anything else, your journey may be different. But aside from that, these are all the steps you will have to take.

Finally, I was very proactive and took control of things whenever possible. Eg. Calling to book appointments rather than waiting for them to be allocated. This sped things up for me drastically in comparison to others I’ve spoken to who just waited and their journey has been prolonged by at least a year.


The beginning



My journey started in October 2018 when I started my 3-month weight management group. I attended 6/10 sessions so was given an incomplete.

After 18 years of smoking, I decided to stop on 27th December 2018. This was initially as I thought I would have the surgery within a couple of months. A year later and I have yet to buy fags and have also saved a lot of money. This also helped to show how serious I was about having this surgery.

In January 2019 I did the weight management group again and attended 10/10 sessions. At this point my doctor tested me for vitamin deficiencies; I had an iron and vitamin D deficiency.

From April 2019 - June 2019 I took the vitamins I lacked. At the end of June, I was tested again and my results came back as normal levels of all vitamins.

This stage of my journey took me 9 months. But it could have been 3 months if I completed the weight management group the first time around and got tested for deficiencies straight away.

Tip 1- If you are considering the surgery but haven’t even spoken to your doctor about it yet, just start taking A-Z multivitamins and minerals. (I used Tesco brand - but any are fine)


The Referral… and beyond


On July 2nd, my doctor referred me to Homerton. I received a letter a couple of days later to notify me of this; I then called the hospital and booked my appointments.

My first appointment was on July 12th - I saw a nurse who went through a questionnaire and weighed me. I had blood taken and also attended the mandatory group session which gave information on the surgery etc. (This is when I actually started taking A-Z multivitamins and minerals)

On July 22nd I met my surgeon. She spoke to me about the surgery options and explained MDT. I also had a weigh-in.

In late August I received a letter stating that my MDT meeting happened on August 21st and I was approved for surgery. A couple of days later I was sent another letter stating that I had a follow-up appointment booked for September 23rd.

On September 23rd I met my surgeon again who went through the surgery options with me and asked me to choose which I would prefer; I chose to have a sleeve. On this day, they told me I could have my pre-op assessments done but unfortunately pre-op wasn't taking walks in that day so I had to book for a later date.

On October 9th I had my pre-op assessment done. They weighed me, took blood and my blood pressure. They filled out a questionnaire and then gave me info for the 2 days prior to my surgery date. (I could have gotten an earlier date for this but I didn’t want to take time off work)

If I had known the MDT would happen so quickly, I would have booked the 2nd surgeon appointment a month after the 1st one and would've booked the pre-op assessment in advance for the same day.

Tip 2 - After my pre-op assessment, I was put on the waiting list and was told it could take 3 months to get a surgery date. However, I was very proactive! 2 weeks later, I was given my surgery date [December 13th]! (It is typically a 6-week wait from when they give you your date to the day of the actual surgery)

Tip 3 - Take ‘before’ pictures! You might regret not having them in the future.



The surgery -



On November 12th I attended the hospital for the pre-surgery session. I had to do the second compulsory group session which included learning about the liver shrinking diet, speaking to a physiotherapist and a nurse. I was not weighed at this appointment and no blood was taken.

I did a massive online shop which included all the things I would need for the liver shrinking diet and 3 weeks post-op - in total I spent over £200 on just Slimfast and a further £100 on other things like protein powder, squash, jelly, bottled water etc.

I was scheduled to do the liver shrinking diet for 2 weeks which I started on November 29th. I chose to do option 1 which was the Slimfast option. It is very expensive but as I work full-time, it was the most convenient. On day 4, hunger made me regret my choice and I wished I chose the food option… but I persevered!

As I live alone, I deep cleaned the entire house 2 weeks before surgery. The day before my surgery I set up my bedside with things I needed so I was as prepared as possible. I decided to go to the hospital alone but after surgery I had family pick me up as I wanted help to settle back in at home.

On December 13th I was told to arrive at 7 am. I was the 3rd surgery booked at 2 pm but was switched to the first surgery at 9 am. All went well and I was kept for 3 nights before returning home on Monday 16th December 2019.

Initially, recovery was a little tough for me. I was sick for an entire day and weren’t able to hold down pain medication. This settled down quickly and soon after all I wanted was my bed. Overall, recovery has been easy and a success.

Tip 4 - Don't lose any of the paperwork/literature you get throughout your journey! I didn’t look at any of them when I initially got them but the closer my surgery got, they became my Holy Grail.

Tip 5 - Plan ahead! It really doesn't matter how you do it or what you do, just prepare!!

Deep clean your house a couple of weeks before surgery.
Buy some cheap comfy clothes in a slightly smaller size for your impending weight loss. Maybe throw out some current clothes to mentally prepare yourself too.
Decide what liver shrinking diet and you want to do and stock up on supplies.
Buy everything you need for post-surgery liquids when you do pre-surgery shop.
Pack your suitcase ahead of time. Make a list of all the things you need/want and have it ready to go. (see my list below)
Plan your surgery day ahead of time. Eg. What time to leave the house, how long does it take to get there, what will you wear etc.
Make arrangements for post-surgery pick up - remember, you won't be able to lift anything inc. the suitcase you have with you.
Have a real conversation with yourself! Ask if you're really ready for this. Embrace your fears. Then work through that fear by reading more and preparing yourself.
Is your partner ready for this journey? Are your kids, family and friends?
Also, read and fully prepare for the first 2/3 weeks post-op and also the pureed food phase. Maybe have a basket prepped online so when the time comes you just book the delivery.



Altogether, my journey took 14 months but from referral to surgery, it took 5 months.
(excluding a lifetime of weight issues and endless dieting)​


I didn’t know what to take to the hospital so I did some research online. The list below is what I took based on some article I read and things I wanted to have. All items didn't end up being used.

Loose clothes for the journey home
Loose-fitting nightwear
Toothbrush/paste
Non-slip slippers
Dry mouth spray
Dressing gown
Shower gel
Hairband
Flannel
Baby wipes
Wireless bra
Loose underwear
Wired headphones
Vaseline/ chapstick
Flip flops for the shower
Pillow for the journey home
Medication and vitamins
Long lead phone charger
1 or 2 Slimfast (just in case)
Pre-mixed sugar-free squash
Bottle of water (I don't like tap)
iPad/laptop/phone (plus chargers)


Negativity


When I told friends and family about my surgery I got some negative responses. They would say, ‘Don’t do it!’ or ‘Just go to the gym.’ or ‘You should trade chocolate for nuts.’ or ‘Just eat healthier.’ or they just put negativity out in the universe (if you know what I mean). One of these people is my sibling who has always teased me about my weight.

These comments were really traumatising but they were the catalyst to me wanting this even more, doing more research and ensuring I was as physically, mentally and emotionally ready as possible. I also began to tell some people I wasn't having the surgery anymore and was going to a weight loss wellness centre. This definitely stopped a lot of the negative comments.

Let me know if you want to hear about my post-op experience. After a few months, I could give another update like this.

I hope this has helped and good luck on your journey.
Thank you so much for this post, I wish you all the happiness, I’m going to sound quite silly now so pls bare with me lol,

I went to my doctors in June 2019 and asked for support regarding my weight, I am 4ft11 and currently weighed about 17st with a BMI of 47 🙈

I lost 5st in 12 months on slimming world in 2016 maintained it for 1 year but I’ve gained it all back and now weigh the heaviest I ever have, anyway my GP mentioned weight management where I’d see a dietician and I was thrilled, I personally thought I was going to be given a free gym membership 😂

I got referred to St Barts and I saw a consultant called Dr Simon Coppack, I must say he was so thorough and listened to everything which was like a life story!

I have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome)
Endometriosis and I had to have a lung function test for sleep apnea because I’ve started snoring and waking myself up, after about an hours appt he said this wasn’t a quick process and that he’ll see me in 6 months time and that all my results from blood work, breathing test results will be back and I would of seen the dietician.

I saw the dietician last week at St Barts and she was lovely, said my lung function test was abnormal so it’s possible I have sleep apnea and that she’s going to request I have a Cpap machine and again same as Dr Coppack asked about me etc to then she went on to ask if Dr Coppack had spoken to me about surgery. I nearly fell off the chair!! I was just shocked that it was even an option, I think my view was that it’s so hard to even go down that road of weight loss surgery that it really took me back with her asking me,

anyway as much as I would definitely consider talking about it further with either of them as I have suffered my whole life and been a constant yo-yo it’s something I would 100% look into.

would you say I am in tier 3 going by who I’ve seen? Sorry I’m just so confused with this whole process xx
 

Bling Babe

Well-Known Member
I would say you are on tier 3, use your time to research research research and research lots more, being well informed is so beneficial, keep on posting there are a lot of diaries open to read but a lot of the more recent surgerie (mine include) are in the bro section and you need 100 posts to access those, don’t let that put you of thought because there is loads of information available and we can still see and respond to your posts xx
 

Sarnie

Well-Known Member
Hi Everyone,

I have just had my surgery and have a lot of spare time while I'm home recovering so I thought I’d share.

When I first started this journey I tried to research everything. From the procedure, time frames and generally what to expect. Although there was some information on here, I couldn't find a recent, comprehensive post of what I wanted to see. So now that I have been through it, I would like to share my experience for all those who will go on this journey after me.

Firstly, my GP refused to refer me until I had achieved the bare minimum required which was a history of trying to lose weight (10w weight management group) and no vitamin deficiencies. Also, in my borough, there was no Tier 3 requirement.

Secondly, I was an ‘easy case’; I have no health problems. So if you have sleep apnoea, mental health, diabetes or anything else, your journey may be different. But aside from that, these are all the steps you will have to take.

Finally, I was very proactive and took control of things whenever possible. Eg. Calling to book appointments rather than waiting for them to be allocated. This sped things up for me drastically in comparison to others I’ve spoken to who just waited and their journey has been prolonged by at least a year.


The beginning



My journey started in October 2018 when I started my 3-month weight management group. I attended 6/10 sessions so was given an incomplete.

After 18 years of smoking, I decided to stop on 27th December 2018. This was initially as I thought I would have the surgery within a couple of months. A year later and I have yet to buy fags and have also saved a lot of money. This also helped to show how serious I was about having this surgery.

In January 2019 I did the weight management group again and attended 10/10 sessions. At this point my doctor tested me for vitamin deficiencies; I had an iron and vitamin D deficiency.

From April 2019 - June 2019 I took the vitamins I lacked. At the end of June, I was tested again and my results came back as normal levels of all vitamins.

This stage of my journey took me 9 months. But it could have been 3 months if I completed the weight management group the first time around and got tested for deficiencies straight away.

Tip 1- If you are considering the surgery but haven’t even spoken to your doctor about it yet, just start taking A-Z multivitamins and minerals. (I used Tesco brand - but any are fine)


The Referral… and beyond


On July 2nd, my doctor referred me to Homerton. I received a letter a couple of days later to notify me of this; I then called the hospital and booked my appointments.

My first appointment was on July 12th - I saw a nurse who went through a questionnaire and weighed me. I had blood taken and also attended the mandatory group session which gave information on the surgery etc. (This is when I actually started taking A-Z multivitamins and minerals)

On July 22nd I met my surgeon. She spoke to me about the surgery options and explained MDT. I also had a weigh-in.

In late August I received a letter stating that my MDT meeting happened on August 21st and I was approved for surgery. A couple of days later I was sent another letter stating that I had a follow-up appointment booked for September 23rd.

On September 23rd I met my surgeon again who went through the surgery options with me and asked me to choose which I would prefer; I chose to have a sleeve. On this day, they told me I could have my pre-op assessments done but unfortunately pre-op wasn't taking walks in that day so I had to book for a later date.

On October 9th I had my pre-op assessment done. They weighed me, took blood and my blood pressure. They filled out a questionnaire and then gave me info for the 2 days prior to my surgery date. (I could have gotten an earlier date for this but I didn’t want to take time off work)

If I had known the MDT would happen so quickly, I would have booked the 2nd surgeon appointment a month after the 1st one and would've booked the pre-op assessment in advance for the same day.

Tip 2 - After my pre-op assessment, I was put on the waiting list and was told it could take 3 months to get a surgery date. However, I was very proactive! 2 weeks later, I was given my surgery date [December 13th]! (It is typically a 6-week wait from when they give you your date to the day of the actual surgery)

Tip 3 - Take ‘before’ pictures! You might regret not having them in the future.



The surgery -



On November 12th I attended the hospital for the pre-surgery session. I had to do the second compulsory group session which included learning about the liver shrinking diet, speaking to a physiotherapist and a nurse. I was not weighed at this appointment and no blood was taken.

I did a massive online shop which included all the things I would need for the liver shrinking diet and 3 weeks post-op - in total I spent over £200 on just Slimfast and a further £100 on other things like protein powder, squash, jelly, bottled water etc.

I was scheduled to do the liver shrinking diet for 2 weeks which I started on November 29th. I chose to do option 1 which was the Slimfast option. It is very expensive but as I work full-time, it was the most convenient. On day 4, hunger made me regret my choice and I wished I chose the food option… but I persevered!

As I live alone, I deep cleaned the entire house 2 weeks before surgery. The day before my surgery I set up my bedside with things I needed so I was as prepared as possible. I decided to go to the hospital alone but after surgery I had family pick me up as I wanted help to settle back in at home.

On December 13th I was told to arrive at 7 am. I was the 3rd surgery booked at 2 pm but was switched to the first surgery at 9 am. All went well and I was kept for 3 nights before returning home on Monday 16th December 2019.

Initially, recovery was a little tough for me. I was sick for an entire day and weren’t able to hold down pain medication. This settled down quickly and soon after all I wanted was my bed. Overall, recovery has been easy and a success.

Tip 4 - Don't lose any of the paperwork/literature you get throughout your journey! I didn’t look at any of them when I initially got them but the closer my surgery got, they became my Holy Grail.

Tip 5 - Plan ahead! It really doesn't matter how you do it or what you do, just prepare!!

Deep clean your house a couple of weeks before surgery.
Buy some cheap comfy clothes in a slightly smaller size for your impending weight loss. Maybe throw out some current clothes to mentally prepare yourself too.
Decide what liver shrinking diet and you want to do and stock up on supplies.
Buy everything you need for post-surgery liquids when you do pre-surgery shop.
Pack your suitcase ahead of time. Make a list of all the things you need/want and have it ready to go. (see my list below)
Plan your surgery day ahead of time. Eg. What time to leave the house, how long does it take to get there, what will you wear etc.
Make arrangements for post-surgery pick up - remember, you won't be able to lift anything inc. the suitcase you have with you.
Have a real conversation with yourself! Ask if you're really ready for this. Embrace your fears. Then work through that fear by reading more and preparing yourself.
Is your partner ready for this journey? Are your kids, family and friends?
Also, read and fully prepare for the first 2/3 weeks post-op and also the pureed food phase. Maybe have a basket prepped online so when the time comes you just book the delivery.



Altogether, my journey took 14 months but from referral to surgery, it took 5 months.
(excluding a lifetime of weight issues and endless dieting)​


I didn’t know what to take to the hospital so I did some research online. The list below is what I took based on some article I read and things I wanted to have. All items didn't end up being used.

Loose clothes for the journey home
Loose-fitting nightwear
Toothbrush/paste
Non-slip slippers
Dry mouth spray
Dressing gown
Shower gel
Hairband
Flannel
Baby wipes
Wireless bra
Loose underwear
Wired headphones
Vaseline/ chapstick
Flip flops for the shower
Pillow for the journey home
Medication and vitamins
Long lead phone charger
1 or 2 Slimfast (just in case)
Pre-mixed sugar-free squash
Bottle of water (I don't like tap)
iPad/laptop/phone (plus chargers)


Negativity


When I told friends and family about my surgery I got some negative responses. They would say, ‘Don’t do it!’ or ‘Just go to the gym.’ or ‘You should trade chocolate for nuts.’ or ‘Just eat healthier.’ or they just put negativity out in the universe (if you know what I mean). One of these people is my sibling who has always teased me about my weight.

These comments were really traumatising but they were the catalyst to me wanting this even more, doing more research and ensuring I was as physically, mentally and emotionally ready as possible. I also began to tell some people I wasn't having the surgery anymore and was going to a weight loss wellness centre. This definitely stopped a lot of the negative comments.

Let me know if you want to hear about my post-op experience. After a few months, I could give another update like this.

I hope this has helped and good luck on your journey.
Thanks for sharing, I look forward to reading more about your journey and how you are getting on x
 
Such an amazing read!!
I started my journey in 2017 and due to negativity and just having a baby i wasn't ready.
I was recently booked in for a apt to sign consent of surgery with the consultant, what happens after this?

when you say you were proactive, what did you do?
 

Lalapo

Member
Such an amazing read!!
I started my journey in 2017 and due to negativity and just having a baby i wasn't ready.
I was recently booked in for a apt to sign consent of surgery with the consultant, what happens after this?

when you say you were proactive, what did you do?
are you having your surgery soon? You won’t regret it. Having a young child myself, life is much easier and better 6 stones lighter.
 

Lalapo

Member
@koralie
Hi Everyone,

I have just had my surgery and have a lot of spare time while I'm home recovering so I thought I’d share.

When I first started this journey I tried to research everything. From the procedure, time frames and generally what to expect. Although there was some information on here, I couldn't find a recent, comprehensive post of what I wanted to see. So now that I have been through it, I would like to share my experience for all those who will go on this journey after me.

Firstly, my GP refused to refer me until I had achieved the bare minimum required which was a history of trying to lose weight (10w weight management group) and no vitamin deficiencies. Also, in my borough, there was no Tier 3 requirement.

Secondly, I was an ‘easy case’; I have no health problems. So if you have sleep apnoea, mental health, diabetes or anything else, your journey may be different. But aside from that, these are all the steps you will have to take.

Finally, I was very proactive and took control of things whenever possible. Eg. Calling to book appointments rather than waiting for them to be allocated. This sped things up for me drastically in comparison to others I’ve spoken to who just waited and their journey has been prolonged by at least a year.


The beginning



My journey started in October 2018 when I started my 3-month weight management group. I attended 6/10 sessions so was given an incomplete.

After 18 years of smoking, I decided to stop on 27th December 2018. This was initially as I thought I would have the surgery within a couple of months. A year later and I have yet to buy fags and have also saved a lot of money. This also helped to show how serious I was about having this surgery.

In January 2019 I did the weight management group again and attended 10/10 sessions. At this point my doctor tested me for vitamin deficiencies; I had an iron and vitamin D deficiency.

From April 2019 - June 2019 I took the vitamins I lacked. At the end of June, I was tested again and my results came back as normal levels of all vitamins.

This stage of my journey took me 9 months. But it could have been 3 months if I completed the weight management group the first time around and got tested for deficiencies straight away.

Tip 1- If you are considering the surgery but haven’t even spoken to your doctor about it yet, just start taking A-Z multivitamins and minerals. (I used Tesco brand - but any are fine)


The Referral… and beyond


On July 2nd, my doctor referred me to Homerton. I received a letter a couple of days later to notify me of this; I then called the hospital and booked my appointments.

My first appointment was on July 12th - I saw a nurse who went through a questionnaire and weighed me. I had blood taken and also attended the mandatory group session which gave information on the surgery etc. (This is when I actually started taking A-Z multivitamins and minerals)

On July 22nd I met my surgeon. She spoke to me about the surgery options and explained MDT. I also had a weigh-in.

In late August I received a letter stating that my MDT meeting happened on August 21st and I was approved for surgery. A couple of days later I was sent another letter stating that I had a follow-up appointment booked for September 23rd.

On September 23rd I met my surgeon again who went through the surgery options with me and asked me to choose which I would prefer; I chose to have a sleeve. On this day, they told me I could have my pre-op assessments done but unfortunately pre-op wasn't taking walks in that day so I had to book for a later date.

On October 9th I had my pre-op assessment done. They weighed me, took blood and my blood pressure. They filled out a questionnaire and then gave me info for the 2 days prior to my surgery date. (I could have gotten an earlier date for this but I didn’t want to take time off work)

If I had known the MDT would happen so quickly, I would have booked the 2nd surgeon appointment a month after the 1st one and would've booked the pre-op assessment in advance for the same day.

Tip 2 - After my pre-op assessment, I was put on the waiting list and was told it could take 3 months to get a surgery date. However, I was very proactive! 2 weeks later, I was given my surgery date [December 13th]! (It is typically a 6-week wait from when they give you your date to the day of the actual surgery)

Tip 3 - Take ‘before’ pictures! You might regret not having them in the future.



The surgery -



On November 12th I attended the hospital for the pre-surgery session. I had to do the second compulsory group session which included learning about the liver shrinking diet, speaking to a physiotherapist and a nurse. I was not weighed at this appointment and no blood was taken.

I did a massive online shop which included all the things I would need for the liver shrinking diet and 3 weeks post-op - in total I spent over £200 on just Slimfast and a further £100 on other things like protein powder, squash, jelly, bottled water etc.

I was scheduled to do the liver shrinking diet for 2 weeks which I started on November 29th. I chose to do option 1 which was the Slimfast option. It is very expensive but as I work full-time, it was the most convenient. On day 4, hunger made me regret my choice and I wished I chose the food option… but I persevered!

As I live alone, I deep cleaned the entire house 2 weeks before surgery. The day before my surgery I set up my bedside with things I needed so I was as prepared as possible. I decided to go to the hospital alone but after surgery I had family pick me up as I wanted help to settle back in at home.

On December 13th I was told to arrive at 7 am. I was the 3rd surgery booked at 2 pm but was switched to the first surgery at 9 am. All went well and I was kept for 3 nights before returning home on Monday 16th December 2019.

Initially, recovery was a little tough for me. I was sick for an entire day and weren’t able to hold down pain medication. This settled down quickly and soon after all I wanted was my bed. Overall, recovery has been easy and a success.

Tip 4 - Don't lose any of the paperwork/literature you get throughout your journey! I didn’t look at any of them when I initially got them but the closer my surgery got, they became my Holy Grail.

Tip 5 - Plan ahead! It really doesn't matter how you do it or what you do, just prepare!!

Deep clean your house a couple of weeks before surgery.
Buy some cheap comfy clothes in a slightly smaller size for your impending weight loss. Maybe throw out some current clothes to mentally prepare yourself too.
Decide what liver shrinking diet and you want to do and stock up on supplies.
Buy everything you need for post-surgery liquids when you do pre-surgery shop.
Pack your suitcase ahead of time. Make a list of all the things you need/want and have it ready to go. (see my list below)
Plan your surgery day ahead of time. Eg. What time to leave the house, how long does it take to get there, what will you wear etc.
Make arrangements for post-surgery pick up - remember, you won't be able to lift anything inc. the suitcase you have with you.
Have a real conversation with yourself! Ask if you're really ready for this. Embrace your fears. Then work through that fear by reading more and preparing yourself.
Is your partner ready for this journey? Are your kids, family and friends?
Also, read and fully prepare for the first 2/3 weeks post-op and also the pureed food phase. Maybe have a basket prepped online so when the time comes you just book the delivery.



Altogether, my journey took 14 months but from referral to surgery, it took 5 months.
(excluding a lifetime of weight issues and endless dieting)​


I didn’t know what to take to the hospital so I did some research online. The list below is what I took based on some article I read and things I wanted to have. All items didn't end up being used.

Loose clothes for the journey home
Loose-fitting nightwear
Toothbrush/paste
Non-slip slippers
Dry mouth spray
Dressing gown
Shower gel
Hairband
Flannel
Baby wipes
Wireless bra
Loose underwear
Wired headphones
Vaseline/ chapstick
Flip flops for the shower
Pillow for the journey home
Medication and vitamins
Long lead phone charger
1 or 2 Slimfast (just in case)
Pre-mixed sugar-free squash
Bottle of water (I don't like tap)
iPad/laptop/phone (plus chargers)


Negativity


When I told friends and family about my surgery I got some negative responses. They would say, ‘Don’t do it!’ or ‘Just go to the gym.’ or ‘You should trade chocolate for nuts.’ or ‘Just eat healthier.’ or they just put negativity out in the universe (if you know what I mean). One of these people is my sibling who has always teased me about my weight.

These comments were really traumatising but they were the catalyst to me wanting this even more, doing more research and ensuring I was as physically, mentally and emotionally ready as possible. I also began to tell some people I wasn't having the surgery anymore and was going to a weight loss wellness centre. This definitely stopped a lot of the negative comments.

Let me know if you want to hear about my post-op experience. After a few months, I could give another update like this.

I hope this has helped and good luck on your journey.

I see you had surgery Dec 2019, just wondering what you had and how you are doing? I have stalled and looking for ideas etc how to motivate myself again .
 
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