Cornwall LivingIssue #70

A change for the good

Dani Tofts’ incredible story following weight-loss surgery at Duchy Hospital gets better and better!

Some regular readers of Cornwall Living may remember the story of Dani Tofts, who was deemed morbidly obese at over 19 stone and who candidly told us: “I was unhealthy, unhappy and my confidence was non-existent.”

I cannot believe how different my life is now.”

Unfortunately, obesity is on the rise. In fact, around one in four of the UK population is now classified as obese, which is alarming as obesity can cause a range of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, stroke and sleep disorders. In Dani’s case, to her understandable dismay, she was given a diagnosis of weight-related infertility, and despite many attempts at dieting and weight loss, her efforts proved fruitless.

Fortunately, there is a genuine solution for people in Dani’s situation, once other avenues have been explored. Dani, who actually works at Duchy Hospital, carefully considered her options, eventually deciding upon weight-loss surgery with Mr Ian Finlay. Duchy Hospital offers a range of procedures, all of which come with a comprehensive aftercare package, as well as pre-operative support. Long-term success requires commitment and support; it’s not a case of simply having the operation and carrying on as before.

There are three commonly performed weight- loss surgery operations: gastric band, gastric bypass and the intragastric balloon. The gastric band operation involves inserting a restrictive band around the top of the stomach, resulting in a prolonged feeling of fullness after small meals. Following gastric band surgery, patients typically lost 50% to 80% of their excess weight. The gastric bypass operation alters the level of hunger hormones, resulting in a decreased and healthier appetite. A gastric sleeve turns the stomach into a narrow tube, combining elements of both the other operations.

The gastric balloon is non-surgical, and suitable for less overweight patients. The balloon is inflated inside the stomach via a telescope and works by restricting the volume of food which can be eaten. The balloon is a temporary measure and must be removed after six months, but can be a useful kick-start for weight loss.

While success depends on various factors, for Dani, having surgery was the best decision of her life, having now lost an incredible nine stone! It’s not just about feeling great; there are major health benefits too. Following weight loss surgery, a patient’s chance of developing type 2 diabetes is reduced by up to 80%. Dani tells us: “I cannot believe how different my life is now. I remember being such an anxious person, unhealthy, miserable and generally unhappy. Surgery has given me a new view of life; I now have such respect for my body and health.” And it gets even better as Dani is now expecting her first child!

"I cannot believe how different my life is now."