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Gastric Band Gone Wrong

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Have you had a bad experience with gastric bypass surgery?

We’ve helped several people share their gastric band experiences, both good and bad, that can help those in a similar situation make an informed decision. Read Donna Tomkins speaking about her beloved mum’s ‘unnecessary’ death and how she fell victim to today’s ‘quick fix surgery’.

If you would like to get in touch with us regarding your own story, please use the form on the right side of this page, or visit the contact us page.

Heartbreakingly, Donna, 45, a retail assistant, says her mother, Linda Beech, 62, thought the weight loss surgery would transform her life for the better, but instead it ended up killing her.

Linda died five days after the £7,000 operation after a leak in her stomach which caused multi-organ failure in October 2013. Distraught Donna says she doesn’t understand why the NHS allowed her to undergo such a serious operation as she wasn’t grossly obese.

Linda was a size 32 and desperate for the drastic weight loss op, but Donna believes her mother wasn’t aware of the serious risks and doctors should have encouraged her to lose weight naturally rather than undergo the knife. She believes her mum should have been offered counselling for her issues with food and assistance with traditional dieting and exercise, rather than ‘quick fix surgery’.

At the inquest into her mother’s death, consultants from St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester, argued that although they did find ‘pockets of blood in the stomach’ there was no evidence of a leak after the operation. It wasn’t until five days later that they became aware of the small hole in her stomach, but by this point it was too late.

The court heard how Linda was made aware of the risks when she attended a pre-assessment day in May 2013 before the operation. Today, eight months on, she is calling for more transparency regarding the risks with ‘quick fix’ surgery.

‘I think they should have encouraged her to eat better,’ says Donna, ‘I often sit in café shops and see much bigger people than my mum. It makes my so angry, the NHS failed my mother – I don’t think she was aware just how serious the surgery was.

‘If she had really believed it could have killed her, I know she wouldn’t have gone through with it. Today, people go under the knife for everything, have liposuction to tone up and gastric bands to lose weight. People don’t realise how dangerous they are.’

We placed Donna’s story with That’s Life magazine and we’re in the process of arranging an interview with a national paper too.

If you’d like to share your experiences with weight loss surgery please email [email protected] and we’ll get back to you ASAP with free confidential advice.

You can also read more about how to share a story with the media on our How it Works page.

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