Real life: ‘My gastric band ruined my life’

Are gastric bands really the answer to the UK's obesity crisis?

Gastric bypass surgery

by Marianna Manson |
Updated on

A new study revealed that more than three million people in the UK currently qualify for obesity surgery – costing up to £15,000 – meaning the NHS could be faced with a bill of a shocking £45billion.

This research comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson launched an anti-obesity initiative in the UK, and promised greater availability of weight loss operations on the NHS. He admitted he was “too fat” when he was hospitalised with COVID-19, and is now focusing on getting fitter.

Obesity surgery – or bariatric surgery – makes changes to your digestive system and, in most cases, a band is fitted around the stomach to restrict how much food the patient can eat.

But is surgery really the way to get Brits fit? Closer speaks to two women who have had the ops…

YES... I'm finally happy.

Amanda Nasse before and after
Amanda Nasse is happier than ever. ©Amanda Nasse

Amanda Nasse, 31, a carer from London, is a single mum to 11-year-old William. She says she’s healthier and more confident following her weight-loss surgery in March 2019. She tells us, “I’ve always been big, and after having my son William in January 2009, I continued to pile on the weight. Then, in April 2017, when I was 27st 13lb, I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes, and my periods stopped. I knew I had to do something to lose weight, but I’d tried every diet going and they never worked for me, so I begged my doctor to put me forward for weight-loss surgery – and he agreed.

“After two years of waiting, I had gastric sleeve surgery last March. My stomach was reduced to 75 per cent capacity. When I woke up, I was relieved to find I wasn’t in much pain. For the next two weeks, I could only drink liquids, before moving on to soft food and then solids. I lost a stone in a month. I’d never been able to achieve that with my willpower alone.

CHECK OUT iconic discontinued chocolate bars we miss


CLOSER chocolate bars we miss - slider

chocolate1 of 21

1) Dairy Milk Tiffin

After being off the shelves for years, Tiffin made its comeback in 2016. Hallelujah!

Cadbury2 of 21

2) Cadbury Coconut Boost

The core centre made up of dessicated coconut combined with a normal Boost bar was just too good - why on EARTH was this masterpiece ever taken out of circulation?!

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3) Mars Delight

That caramel and chocolate cream filling mixed with that wafer, was a pure delight. Sadly, we despite people's efforts, this Mars chocolate bar won't be returning anytime soon.

chocolate4 of 21

4) Cadbury Marble

Milk and white chocolate AND praline in one bar? Yup. Cadbury's really are one of the best at coming up with new recipes.

Cadbury5 of 21

5) Cadbury Spira

Two fingers of Dairy Milk with chocolate spiralling around the outside... YUM.

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6) Time Out

The Time Out was very slyly taken off the shelves - basically a chocolate wafer, but SO MUCH MORE. Thankfully, they still exist in shops as a single wafer.

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7) Cadbury Snow Flake

The geniuses at Cadbury decided to merge their white Dream chocolate with the standard flake to create utter perfection in this little bar. But why, oh why, did they stop making them?!

Rowntrees Cabana8 of 21

8) Rowntree's Cabana

Coconut, caramel, cherries and chocolate – the ultimate tropical chocolate bar, right?

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9) Trio

TRIO! TRIOOOO! I want Trio and I want one now!

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10) Cadbury Dream

Possibly one of the best additions to the Heroes tin at Christmas.

Cadbury11 of 21

11) Cadbury Fuse

Nuts, raisins, fudge and cereal pieces all in one chocolate bar?! It's years since we last saw a Fuse bar around. Sob.

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12) Terry's Pyramint

Basically, a pyramid version of an After Eight but with a slightly sloppier middle. We miss these!

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13) KitKat Senses

We can't for the life of us think why these went extinct. But they've been refashioned in a selection box, so that's something at least.

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14) Milkybar Choo

We're hoping this one will make a comeback. The strange combination of white chocolate and fudge worked surprisingly perfectly.

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15) Cadbury Taz Bar

When Taz became extinct, this chocolate bar was revolutionised as a Freddo bar with caramel. But we miss that devil.

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16) Twix Top

This was the highlight of our school packed lunches... Anyone else?!

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17) Cadbury Snaps

They're like Pringles - but chocolate. And just like our favourite snack, you couldn't ever just have one Snap!

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18) Rowntree's Secret

Withdrawn due to low sales volumes, the marshmallow centre wrapped in thick chocolate was a real treat back in the day.

Cadbury19 of 21

19) Cadbury Wispa Mint

We've all had a Wispa, haven't we? But the mint version had an extra edge to it that was just simply divine. Sigh.

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20) Texan

The mighty chew.

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21) Flyte

Forget Maltesers, this really was a lighter way to enjoy chocolate.

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“Now I’ve lost over 13st – going from a size 28 to a size 14 – and my periods have returned. I’m a better mum to William because I can run around in the park without getting breathless. And, most importantly, I’m not worried about dying from a weight-related condition and leaving him alone.

“My eating habits have changed for the better too. My operation inspired me to educate myself on nutrition and the importance of a balanced diet, rather than relying on takeaways. I now have more energy and my skin is glowing too.

“I wasted so many years but now I’m finally happy. Having access to free weight-loss surgery is truly amazing – without it, I don’t know if I’d still be alive.”

No... It's ruined my life.

Amanda Jones
Amanda Jones weighed 27st ©Amanda Jones

Amanda Jones, 39, from Sunderland, is single and is currently not working after suffering a list of health complications after having bariatric surgery in September 2017. She says, “Over the years, I’d tried everything to lose weight – but with an underactive thyroid and polycystic ovaries, which contribute to weight gain, I felt like I was fighting a losing battle. At my heaviest, I weighed 27st and was wearing a size 32.

"Desperate, I went to my GP, who put me on the waiting list for a gastric bypass.

“Nine years later, I had the operation, and was so excited for the new me. But as soon as I woke up, I knew I’d made a mistake – I couldn’t stop vomiting and was in agony. I lost 10st in the first seven months and dropped to a size 18. I should have felt great but I was so ill.

Amanda Jones
She says she wishes she'd lost the weight naturally ©Amanda Jones

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Closer mag
Read more in this week's Closer mag, out now ©Closer mag

“It took months of appointments to find out that the surgery had caused my stomach to move, which resulted in irreparable nerve damage to my back. A year later, I was diagnosed with kidney failure and low blood sugar. Since the surgery, I’ve been admitted to hospital 120 times and I’ve had to give up working because I suffer with constant back pain. I can’t eat without being sick. I can’t go to the toilet for up to two weeks at a time as I get so constipated.

“I have to take medication every day to help me cope with the pain. In the last two years, I’ve put 3st back on – despite only being able to eat spoonfuls of soft food like cottage pie – because I struggle to be active. I’m now more miserable than I was before.

“I wish I could turn back time – I’d never have gone under the knife. I truly wish I’d sought out more support and lost weight through healthy diet and exercise instead.”

Read the best real life stories in Closer magazine each week.

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