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I am 6 foot 2 and I have always been slightly overweight. Up until the age of 24, I weighed around 18 stone but when I hit my mid-20’s, I started to get bigger.

“I feel like I have been
given a second chance at life and I am thoroughly enjoying it!”

Simon, Gastric Bypass Patient

I don’t think I was really aware of how overweight I was becoming – although I eventually had to leave my job as a delivery driver because I found it too difficult loading and unloading the deliveries.

I became a driving instructor which meant that I was even less physically active and the pounds continued to pile on. I have always enjoyed my food and would regularly tuck into a cooked breakfast, fish and chips and savoury pastries.

However, it wasn’t until I was diagnosed with sleep apnoea following a routine assessment with an anaesthetist prior to a wisdom tooth operation that I fully appreciated the extent of my weight problem.

I had noticed that I was tired for much of the time but I put this down to the stress of my job. After the sleep apnoea diagnosis, I realised that the exhaustion was due to chronic sleep deprivation as a result of being significantly overweight.

A visit to my doctor revealed that I weighed 31 stones. I was shocked, I had no idea that I weighed that much. In addition to the sleep apnoea, I was also diagnosed with high blood pressure and my doctor explained that I was at serious risk of developing diabetes.

I had dieted in the past but always put the weight back on. I then tried weight loss medication prescribed by my doctor but I found the side effects too disagreeable and I couldn’t continue with them.

My GP referred me to Professor Peter Lodge and before I met him, I was expecting to feel slightly intimidated! As a normal, working man, I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to relate to a ‘Professor’. However, I soon realised that Pete Lodge isn’t remotely intimidating – he is quite the opposite. From the word go, I felt comfortable with him – he is the type of person that I could easily sit and chat with over a pint or two in the pub!

Professor Lodge confirmed that a laparoscopic gastric bypass would be the best surgical option for me. He recommended that I try and lose some weight before the operation and I managed to lose four stones.

I was 49 when I had the operation in December 2010. I was only in hospital overnight and I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I recovered.

Within a month I was eating normal food – just much smaller portions. I can no longer overeat – so I don’t feel tempted to. I allow myself the odd ‘treat’ – but much less frequently and on a smaller scale.

I am currently just over 17 stones and I am hoping to get to about 16 stones. It is hard to describe just how differently I feel nowadays! In addition to the health benefits (I no longer have sleep apnoea or high blood pressure), I am so much more self-confident. I love life!

I can go on holiday and lay on a sun-bed without being self-conscious. I wear shorts, I go night-clubbing, I play football with my grandchildren – I even take them sledging!

I feel like I have been given a second chance at life and I am thoroughly enjoying it!

Simon's story
Sandra Stubbs resized

I was diagnosed with gallstones after suffering months of severe abdominal pain.

As well as the pain, I felt awfully sick for much of the time – particularly if I had eaten any fatty foods.

Professor Lodge was fantastic, I had complete confidence in him

My GP suspected that I had gallstones and he recommended that I see Professor Peter Lodge at Spire Leeds Hospital. Professor Lodge confirmed the diagnosis and said that I would need to have my gallbladder removed. He explained the procedure thoroughly before-hand which gave me confidence going into the operation.

The surgery was performed laparoscopically (keyhole) in October 2011 and I returned home the same day.

I felt a little uncomfortable for a couple of days following the operation but within a week, I felt much better. In fact, my life post-operation has been amazing!

Professor Lodge was fantastic – I had complete confidence in him and he made me feel at ease. I would certainly recommend him to others!

Sandra's story