Cornwall LivingIssue #64

A real transformation

Dani Tofts loses an incredible nine stone following weight loss surgery at Duchy Hospital, leading to a wide range of health benefits.

The story of Dani Tofts’ life just a year ago, is all too common. Aged 24, and over 19 stone, she was deemed morbidly obese and, as she tells us candidly, “I was unhealthy, unhappy and my confidence was non-existent.” Unfortunately, the prevalence of obesity is on the rise, with around one in four of the UK population now classified as obese. Obesity can cause a range of health problems including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, stroke and sleep disorders. Indeed Dani, to her understandable dismay, received a diagnosis of weight-related infertility. Dani’s many attempts at dieting and weight loss proved fruitless.

“The gastric balloon is non-surgical, and suitable for less overweight patients… a useful kick-start to weight loss.”

The good news is that there is a genuine solution for people in Dani’s situation, once other avenues have been explored. Dani, who works at Duchy Hospital, carefully considered her options before 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 lose 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 nine stone to date. 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 of the genuine transformation the surgery has made to her life. “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.”

"The gastric balloon is non-surgical, and suitable for less overweight patients... a useful kick-start to weight loss."