Karim's story - 12 months after gastric band insertion

I thought I could do this by myself and that gastric bands were for the ladies. I’ve always eaten healthily but just always eaten too much and my weight was increasing each year.

I didn’t want drastic surgery; I just wanted to be able to control the volumes I was eating. I wasn’t really a snacker and I don’t drink much alcohol. I had given up smoking but was piling on the weight as I felt hungry all the time.

I opted for a gastric band at the Princess Margaret Hospital 2 years ago and have been surprised by the added benefits. I had to learn to work with the band as it is a tool to aid weight loss. The specialist dietician helped me with this and kept me on the right track. I had a few pangs after it was first inserted but I kept in touch with the specialist nurse, Natasha, so she could tell me what was to be expected and what wasn’t. I’ve discovered that it’s not all about weight loss – my eating is so much more controlled and that impacts on my whole family. I feel like I am helping them too.

I have a 10cc LapBand and I currently have 4.5cc in it which means that I could have it much tighter if I wanted to. It took me 3 fills to get there over 7 months. I’ve found that it’s not a good idea to have it so tight that you can’t eat – it doesn’t work that way. I did consider going abroad to have the band done but I’m really glad I didn’t. I feel more confident that the team is here and that I can go somewhere close if I have any problems. You hear such horror stories of the band slipping or eroding into the stomach but I’m sure that’s more likely to happen if you haven’t had the right advice in the first place and the support afterwards. I’ve lost 24kg and I plan to lose about 6 more and then I’ll be at my target weight. I’m sure I’ll be able to maintain that fairly easily….