Gastric bypass patient ready to take on the world

Clinical Nurse Specialist Bridie Cornes with patient Joanne Hughes - Picture courtesy of The Sentinel newspaper

A patient says she feels ready to take on the world after having weight-loss surgery at UHNM.  Mum Joanne Hughes underwent a full gastric bypass earlier this year.  The 32 year-old was amongst the first 100 patients to be treated since the service transferred to County Hospital in December 2016.​

Joanne said: "I'm so glad I decided to go ahead with the surgery because it's really changed my life. After only a few weeks, I already feel happier and my family can see the difference in me. Having my son was what really made me want to change. I wanted to be able to do things with him and take him on holiday without feeling worn out or embarrassed because I can't fit into theme park ride seats or seats on an aeroplane.  It took a while but I finally worked up the courage to go for it. The whole thing was over in about three hours and I haven't looked back since.

"Some people view weight-loss surgery as a 'quick-fix' option, but it's not! My hard work has only just begun and I will need to eat healthily and exercise, just like everybody else. I had a brilliant experience at County Hospital from start to finish. It really was fantastic and I was so well looked after. This has been a tool to help me achieve my goals, but it's made me feel so much more confident and now I know I can achieve my goals."

Mr Vittal Rao, Consultant Upper GI/Bariatric Surgeon and Clinical Lead, Department of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery, said: "Joanne is living proof of how beneficial this type of surgery can be for patients. The procedure can help them to reduce weight by as much as 25-35% in one year, and whilst the majority of our patients could not previously climb three flights of stairs without resting, most can live a normal life within a year following surgery."

Bridie Cornes, clinical nurse specialist for bariatric surgery, said: "Our team works well together, in fact the whole of the multi-disciplinary team have all really gelled. Named nurses support each patient from start to finish and patients are contacted regularly post-operatively, which of course helps them to feel cared for and confident that they know we're here for them if they experience any issues."

The bariatric team with Chief Executive Paula Clark

The Bariatric Surgery service at County Hospital has recently moved to a new permanent seven-bed unit at the hospital and the success of the department has resulted in it being approached to take patients from across the West Midlands and North West. The team responsible have been given the Chief Executive's Award in celebration and recognition of their achievements.

Paula Clark, Chief Executive, said: "I want to pay tribute to the team at County Hospital. Moving the service from Royal Stoke to County has required a huge amount of work from all involved and the benefits to patients are there for all to see. The dedicated unit means that there is far less impact from pressures in other parts of the hospital and gives patients greater access to this life changing surgery."