Today, Cathy from Glasgow has kindly shared her Secret Surgery story with us. She came for weight loss surgery a little while ago, and seems to be very pleased with the results! Along the way, she also came across a few obstacles in the road, and apparently we fixed those for her too!
Tell us how it all started. After many tears and many years I mean years of contemplation about WLS and having a couple of consultations in the U.K. I happened to think about surgery abroad. I’d heard lots of bad things about it but still though it would be worth investigating. Well I am so glad I did.
What happened when you found us? I found a company called Secret Surgery and called immediately. I spoke to the MD Angela Chouaib who was so very helpful and as a WLS lady herself she totally understood me. She was so warm, kind and considerate and there was never any pressure put on me to book. There was no sales talk at all in fact. I was told repeatedly it’s your decision and only make it when the time is right for you.
Did you feel that you had plenty of support? I was invited to join the support group on Facebook called Secret Surgery Weight Loss Society. It’s a closed and private group. This was such a help. Talking to people at all stages of their journey. Finding out all about Prague, The clinic and the surgeon Prof Freid (my Hero). Every one was so positive and their weight losses were amazing. The support group goes a long way in helping you use this fantastic tool. Many of them private messaged me and were happy to answer any questions I had and share their personal experiences.
How supportive were the Secret Surgery staff? Angela was always there and replied immediately to any questions this really helped with coming to the decision to use Secret Surgery. So without any hesitation I booked my surgery. The process was so very easy Secret Surgery took the reigns and arranged absolutely everything. All I had to do was catch a flight.
What happened when you arrived here? I was met buy a Chauffeur on arrival at Prague. He took me directly to the clinic. There I was met by the lovely Tina who was my medical coordinator and personal assistant through out my stay. I spent the first night in an apartment above the clinic and it was so very spacious and spotless. Next morning Tina came to the apartment at 6.50 and we moved down to the clinic and I was settled in my private room.
Did you feel that you were properly reviewed before surgery? I was then take by Tina to the medical suite where I under went the most amazing medical and physiological tests I could ever imagine. No stone was left unturned. I was so comforted by this as there people were genuinely looking at my whole self. I came first always and only after all of the team was satisfied that I was fit for surgery I signed the contract and paid the balance due. Again absolutely no pressure I could change my mind at any point.
How did the op itself go? So next morning I was prepped for theatre, Prof Freid came and saw me again and we had another chat. I laughed at his accent as he worked in Glasgow he does speak with a slight Scottish accent and his English language is fantastic. So shortly after that I went to theatre and woke up later back in my room. Within 2 hrs I was on my feet and with the steadying arm of two fantastic nurses I went wobbling up and down the corridor. I never looked back from there.
And after the surgery? Pain management was second to none and on day 2 post op I actually didn’t need any more pain relief. On day 4 I was discharged and per my own choice (I was extending my stay to include a holiday) I transferred to a hotel. The room and the views from my room were beautiful but unfortunately I had a crown of young people on my floor who were there to party. This was totally out of Secret Surgery’s control. I called Tina and explained and she said no problem pack your things and I will come and get you at 9am. I was then transferred to an amazing apartment in Prague centre.
Excellent! Was the rest of your trip OK? I was taxied back and forth to the clinic for would management and everything was fantastic. I also met some other S.S.clients whilst there and we became very close and we are now friends for life. S.S tries their utmost to buddy people up who are travelling alone and that was great. On my morning of departure I was again picked up and my apartment and transferred to the airport.
How are you feeling now? I am now 3 weeks post op and I feel a million dollars. I can’t thank Secret Surgery enough for this fantastic experience but it will never end because I now can help others in the support group and still get any support I need. 2013 is going to be the best year ever and I have already started thinking about my cosmetic surgery and I will look no further than Secret Surgery.
As part of our ‘Under the Skin of Secret Surgery’ series, we’ve got Professor Fried is with us today to tell us all about his own thoughts on work, life, and… everything else! Lots of our past patients will already have met the lovely Professor Fried, our bariatric surgeon and expert, but if you haven’t had the chance yet… here he is!
What’s the biggest challenge in your job?
There are several big and important challenges in my work. One of the most important is to always remember my credo, which means to perform surgeries in the safest possible and optimal way for the patient. To be able to fulfil this credo my work necessitates continuous concentration on what I am doing in the OR as well as to stay up-to-date in my professional education.
What’s the best part of your job?
The best part is to see and to talk to a satisfied client/patient at the end of his hospital stay and to hear from him that he would chose the surgical care in our hospital again.
Do you have a favourite procedure to perform?
Generally, I am fond of laparoscopic (key hole), minimally invasive surgeries. From obesity surgery/bariatric point of view my favorite procedure is gastric plication (wrap), however each and every bariatric procedure is very interesting and nice to perform. As I am in favour of surgical treatment of type 2 diabetes, I consider so called metabolic surgery (treating some of the metabolic comorbidities of obesity through surgical operation) as indeed interesting.
If you hadn’t become a surgeon, what do you think you would have been?
A lawyer or writer.
If you were going to treat yourself to some surgery, what would you get done?
If surgical treatment of obesity would be of consideration, than my choice would depend on my overal health condition. If, for example, I would have been obese diabetic dependent on high doses of insulin, suffering from the disease for many years, I would go for the BPD. On the other hand, in case I would be an obese patient with a mild degree of diabetes (on medical treatment, or on lower doses of insulin), I would chose between gastric band and gastric plication. However, I would very seriously listen to the team of experts whom I would go to and ask for their opinion on the best treatment/surgery for me. So, the overall conclusion is that there´s no ideal one type of surgery which would fit all patients, and choice of the best surgical treatment depends on the actual health status of each individual.
What do you do to relax after a long day?
Walking in the countryside and having a glass of good wine after such a walk.
Today, Rachel from Wolverhampton is here to tell us about the rollercoaster ride she’s gone through in losing ten stone and finding herself again after many years! How did her experience with Secret Surgery go, and – will she be coming back?
Tell us how it all started? At a fraction under 22 stone and only 35 years old, I was miserable. I had two herniated discs in my spine, I could barely stand… even walking around the supermarket was just too painful. It wasn’t a life – I had to do something about it, so in April 2011, I had a Gastric Bypass, and it was the start of my new life.
And then what happened? Fast forward 18 months, I’m 10 stone lighter, much healthier, but stuck in what can only be described as a deflated, wrinkly old fat suit. I still felt ugly, and ashamed, and I knew what needed to be done, so I started looking for surgeons on the internet… this is where I found Angela and Secret Surgery.
Great – did you find our Facebook group? I joined the Facebook group, which I have to say, is one of the best things ever. I had the chance to talk to other ladies, and even some men who had the procedures I was interested in. I looked at the amazing results they were getting and I knew it was the right decision to make, so I sent my photos, explained what I wanted to be done, got my report back, and booked. From start to finish it was all so easy, not having to worry about a single thing, other than getting to the airport on time. Everything is done for you – flights, accommodation, transfers… the most stressful thing is working out what to pack!
And you liked the staff, didn’t you? Jack, the lovely taxi driver, is great, and so helpful. The beautiful Aga can’t do enough to help, and Dr W is a genius also, very funny and approachable, which is something you don’t get with a lot of surgeons!
But what of the hospital? The hospital is lovely, small enough that you don’t feel lost, and very very clean. The only thing I will do differently is bring my own food to the hospital next time – they don’t seem to understand breakfast, and I for one can’t do bread, cheese and tomato first thing in the morning!
And the accommodation? The apartments are lovely, light airy, and comfortable, close to the town, and ideal for Tesco, which is just a 10 minute walk up the road, great for some light exercise after surgery.
Fantastic! Any final comments? My results are amazing and I couldn’t be happier. I am happy and more confident, something which I haven’t been in years, and it has given me the boost I need to have further surgeries to fix the problems associated with huge weight loss. I really cannot recommend Secret Surgery enough, I tell everyone who will listen…I cannot wait to head back in March for my next two procedures!
You might remember that we recently had Sara Bouamra – a Weight Loss Life Coach – in to tell us all about her job, and why it’s so important for people to get the support and coaching they need. Well, today, she’s here to tell us about the goals and benefits of weight loss coaching. You might think it’s easy without a coach – and for some people, it may well be – but for most of us, that little bit of extra support can go a long way.
Want to know what Sara considers to be the best bits of her work for you? Here they are:
- Better self care and stress management
- Develop an action plan to lose weight and get fit!
- Reconnect with your feelings, body, hopes, and dreams
- Develop a healthier relationship with food, as well as life itself
- Learn self-forgiveness and loving- kindness
- Eliminate black and white thinking, perfectionism, and other thinking distortions
- Release self defeating patterns around food and weight
- Develop a deeper connection to your inner wisdom
- Improved body image
- Awaken to your real life
- Recover your joy!
- Learn to let go of the past and forgive!
If any of these things sound like something you need help in achieving, then don’t hesitate to contact us or Sara – because she is there to help!
Bariatric surgery – also called weight loss surgery – isn’t as easy as it’s always made out to be. It’s not an ‘easy’ route to weight loss; it’s actually very tough, and it comes with a whole loads of risks. If you’re not fully aware of what you’re risking by undergoing bariatric surgery, then you really shouldn’t be doing it.
These complications can occur in just about any bariatric surgery – we can’t second-guess whether it will or won’t happen, and it’s nothing to do with sloppy surgery; sometimes, things just don’t turn out the way we hope. This isn’t supposed to put you off surgery, but we do want all of our patients to be fully aware of the risks they’re accepting when they choose a procedure.
Risks and complications of bariatric surgery include:
- Death – not to start you off on a downer…
- Pulmonary Embolism
- Gastrointestinal Tract Leak
- Conversion to Open Procedure
- Bowel Obstruction
- Low Blood Sugars (Hypoglycemia)
- Kidney Problems
There are many more, some of which are associated with the problems your body might have when it starts taking in much less food after surgery than it did before. Some of these risks – like infections – come with just about every surgery under the sun, and some are specific to bariatric surgery.
This isn’t to say that the surgery is dangerous; if that were the case, it wouldn’t be approved! Most people come out of bariatric surgery absolutely fine, with a bright new future ahead of them. However, it’s a big, life-changing surgery – and we’d be lying if we didn’t tell you the risks.
Hi! It’s Angela here – and I’ve got a very special milestone to share with you all. Four years ago this month I weighed in at 20 stone and was extremely unhappy and unhealthy. I knew that 2009 was the year I had to start a new chapter and take care of myself and with the help of Mr Marcus Reddy (Bariatric Surgeon) in London I had an RNY gastric bypass and this gave me a 2nd chance at living a healthier happier life. I grabbed this opportunity with both hands and lost 10 stone in 10 months and have maintained a normal BMI ever since.
I was then lett in a deflated fat suit and once again took the opportunity to have my re-constructive plastic surgery in Wroclaw in with Dr Wojciech Waclawowicz 2010 and this really was the icing on the cake. I was the happiest I could ever remember being… My kids had their fun, loving mummy back and my husband had a new and improved sexier wife too!
After achieving everything that I have I felt that if I could help one other person feel as fabulous as I do then I must help them and Secret Surgery Ltd was founded in November 2010.
As well as helping my own clients I now help patients of surgeons from around the world (including UK) who dont have anywhere to turn and have no moral/emotional support and this is what I enjoy doing most. I hope I can continue to make a positive difference to other people lives in 2013….
I’m so blessed to be able to help others and want to say the hugest thanks to everyone that I call my friend for being there and supporting me throughout my journey and helping me be the person I am today… Much love, Angela xxxx
And here are some comments from my friends and colleagues…
Angie Matthews: Its hard to believe you are the same person as the first pic. Happy oppiversary, and congratulations on all you have achieved. Secret surgery is now helping people whose shoes you were once in, and that makes it extra special x
Rebekah Woodcraft: You look amazing great advert for secret surgery, well done xxxx
Suzie Marie Fitzhugh: U’ve done gr8 and look so amazing and u r a beautiful person inside and out xxxx
Clare-Louise Cuppy Saville: Simply Amazing! Congratulations on your 4th anniversary, you are an inspiration and mentor to us all,
Trayc Imagestylist Randall: Happy 4th birthday you truly are a walking advert for your business and you look totally amazing XX well
Mandi Allen: Happy oppiversary to you xx you are an inspiration. Thank you for your support x
Elaine Hill: Happy 4th birthday darling, its because of you smiling that has made many other women and men walk around with a smile, you are an amazing lady with a heart of gold. Xxx
Melanie Stewart: Well Done Angela x wow what a transformation and a great acheivement in just 4 years x and i am one of the people u have helped ive lost 2stone 4lbs since beginning of November and i cant thank u all at Secret Surgery enough. Without ur help i would never of been able to turn my life around into the right direction as that is certainly where im heading after i had my wrap x x x x THANK YOU x x and WELL DONE U!!!! My weightloss results are just AMAZING x every ‘weigh in’ is so exciting i have lost every time x x never has that happened in my life x x x
Jane Newcastle: The biggest congratulations for achieving your healthy BMI so quickly but more than that for maintaining ever since, your determination to hold onto to the new life was my inspiration and I’m still hoping to be able to get there myself! xx
Debbie Cressey: You have achieved so much Angela! I’m glad to have you as a friend to inspire me too x
So the VIP weekend to Wroclaw was nothing more than a booze up with woman who were not intelligent enough to research the surgery/surgeons they were having?? …………. Well where on earth was i, as this is a total contrast to the weekend i attended!
I attended the trip as Angela thought it important for her aftercare nurses to see first hand the facilities at EMC and the standards of treatment that Secret Surgery patients expect to recieve. She invited us along and had planned a very regimented itinary in order to maximise the knowledge and experiences we would share with the polish team and recieve in return.
Our trip included a visit to the hospital, meeting patients who were more than happy for us to attend whilst they were reviewed, checked for pain levels and had their dressings renewed. One thing i thought when i saw the wound dressing change was how exceptional the emphasis on wound cleansing was compared to the standards i have seen in public practice.
I was impressed to see that instead of leaving dressings on for days on end, or not even having a dressing……..the wounds were managed on a daily basis. This is primarily the reason that EMC has a Zero infection rate. We discussed the use of wound swabs for MRSA etc, and was pleased to here that they also are very strict in poland and will not take chances with anyone that could potentially have an infection. They would rather postpone someones surgery than risk cross contamination from another source.
Safety first is very much the impression i was left with. The surgeon Dr W was very impressed that as UK nurses we were interested enough to give up our time to go along to meet him, his team and tour the facilities. It gave us an insight and a first hand look at how professional the packages are run. When you initially think of surgery abroad, you think of cut price must mean cut safety and cut care. The total opposite is true in the case of secret surgery. The lengths that Angela Chouhaib and her team go to maximise patient comfort and safety is nothing more than outstanding.
The patients are chauferred to the hospital daily for their dressing changes, in constant telephone contact for support mentally, as well as all the physical care. Dr W has very strict guidelines on how surgery is assessed. For example, if you went to him asking for ridicolously sized breasts for your frame, he would assess your whole body, and would not do something that would leave you looking like a freak of nature, despite the obvious financial reward. He also has protocols that mean no one will be able to access more than one major surgery in one hospital visit. It is these strict protocols…………safety and comfort over money, that mean the hospital currently has a zero mortality rate. How many institutions can boast that??
What the sun journalists failed to mention amongst many things was the lengths Secret surgery go to, in order to make the whole process as smooth as possible and as anxiety reducing as possible. As a bariatric patient myself having had both gastric bypass and lower body lift on the NHS in the UK, i know only too well how extremely stressful the whole process is. Not only stressful for the patient but for the loved ones aswell. Angela included a service that can cater for a companion to keep the patients company, and offers them just as much support mentally as the client recieves. This is again an example of the extra mile that secret surgery goes.
We enjoyed meals together in relaxing restuarants, not the drunken nights that the sun portrayed us to have. I mean for goodness sake, some people had just had major surgery……..they would hardly be up to drinking poland dry!! i enjoyed half a glassof wine on the last evening, and other than that drank coke and water, as did almost everyone else. We enjoyed a shopping trip to the Renoma shopping centre which was primarily led by Tracy who gave us valuable advice on how to dress our new found figures and how to look after the inner person that maybe is still struggling with the effects that obesity left. Sadly Jennifer the journalist showed little or no interest in talking to any of us about our journies.
We had so many stories ready to share, but she wandered around the shops looking at boots and jumpers for herself and took no notice of us all. It was very dissapointing on sunday evening when both jennifer and mike did not bother to attend the extensive traditional polish buffet that had been laid on at the very exclusive Pod Freda restuarant, rudely leaving Angela to pay the bill !!
This was the last opportunity for them to do the interviews that they were there to do, but sadly work took priority, or so we thought. Facebook pictures of site seeing at the time reflected how honest they were. Not only was the report in the sun, totally unfactual & unsubstantiated, it was also very insulting and demeaning. The people that were on that trip for surgery had done months and months of research, talking to surgical teams around the world, and asking millions of questions. Everyday they post in the facebook groups of both secret surgery and Weight loss surgery friends which have become a community themselves. The support that is given and recieved is unending and given with care and compassion.
There isnt a question that Angela does not answer!I agree there will be some people out there that probably spend 5 minutes and will choose the cheapest most convienient company and not even realise what they were getting into. Secret surgery clients however are nothing like that. They are simply not allowed to be for a start. Angela and the team ENSURE that their clients are well informed of ALL risks involved. They have infact turned people away that have had unrealistic expectations of surgery and the results. When Secret Surgery clients give consent for surgery, then it is 100% informed consent.
I am a trained nurse, i would under no circumstances risk losing my pin number for a company that i wasnt sure would be totally legally and ethically moral. I think the sun report tainted what was a very special weekend.
If there are any ladies – or lads – out there thinking about undergoing a gastric wrap, then you’re in luck! One of our past patients, the mysterious Miss H, is here to tell us all about her experiences with a gastric wrap at Secret Surgery.
What made you think of cosmetic surgery? “After years of being overweight and trying and failing on every diet possible, I had begun to get really despondent and almost to the point of giving up. I had never considered surgery but things were getting desperate. I knew that a girl at my work had had the gastric wrap and have watched her slim down and grow in confidence. I had a chat with her and she recommended Secret Surgery and told me to give Angela a call.”
Wow! And how did that proceed? “After a couple of emails and calls from Secret Surgery I decided it was right for me, deposit was paid and all arrangements made. More importantly, I’d been matched up with a surgery buddy to accompany me to Prague. I also had Patricia from Secret Surgery as my contact and was encouraged to call her if i had any questions or worries. Unfortunately my surgery buddy had to postpone her surgery so I arrived in Prague feeling a little like a fish out of water!”
Oh no; and what about when you got to Poland? “I was taken by the driver to the clinic and met by Brooke, who showed me to me apartment. Apartment was lovely, I even had two toilets, guess you can never have too many!! I was told I would be met the following morning at 7am for the big day! Only I felt so chilled in my lovely apartment bed that I nearly overslept, had to rush round getting ready so no time for nerves!!”
Did you get to meet the surgeons? “The representative Tina met me and took me down to the clinic, nerves started kicking in but Tina was lovely and put my mind at rest. I then had various tests and discussions with medical staff, I was impressed at how thorough the pre-op tests were even down to the psychiatric consultation.”
And what about the surgery itself? “I went to my hospital room had my pre-op meds and then laughed uncontrollably while 2 nurses tried to get my surgical stockings up my legs. Although their English was not perfect, they made me feel at ease. Then they wheeled me off to the theatre… I woke up back in my hospital room, feeling surprisingly good.”
Great! But what about after the surgery – the recovery time? “I was checked regularly and drifted in and out of sleep. I got up to go to the toilet and couldn’t believe I hard no pain. I had a good night and the next day the liquids started, I must admit I did have more nausea than I expected, however the staff were amazing what with the nurses and regular checks from the surgeons. I was discharged back to my room on Wednesday afternoon, however I spent the night in my apartment room being sick. I rang Tina and spoke to the nurses saying they would get me to see surgeon in the morning.”
And what happened on Thursday? “On Thursday morning I was seen and readmitted to the clinic, and I was their only patient! I got one to one treatment, which was amazing. My nausea continued until Friday morning but by Friday lunchtime it stopped, and Dr Fried felt OK to discharge me.”
Did you feel that going abroad for surgery was a good idea? “I would just like to say that although I was a lot more sick than I anticipated the level of care I received in the clinic in Prague was second to none, I have had quite a lot of knee surgery privately in this country and there was no difference, if anything I got better treatment over there. I was initially worried about the language problems as some staff were more fluent in English than others, however I would see the same staff and had a good laugh with them as felt quite sad to leave them at the end of the week, along with Tina they had become my family over there!”
Great! And how have things been since coming home? “So here I am, back in the UK already, feeling slimmer with the neatest incisions ever! I would just like to thank Angela and all at Secret Surgery – I never once doubted the professionalism but also felt that I could ask any questions and always got speedy answers.”
Any last thoughts? “I still wish I could have been out there with my surgery buddy that was one thing that really appealed and think that it is great for the company to put you together with someone else in the same boat, so although we didn’t travel together I still have my buddy to share our experience back here. So in a nutshell, I would like to thank Angela and Secret Surgery for all the professionalism and support I have received and I know this will continue in my onward journey! I would recommend this life changing experience to anyone.”
Last week, we did a feature post about the gastric wrap, so most of you should know a little more about what it is and how it works, now. (If you missed it, read back! It’s an effective, reversible and relatively simple weight loss procedure.)
However, you might still not have decided whether gastric wrap surgery is really for you – so today, we’re going to help a couple of you fence-sitters to make up your minds. First, there are some people who are considered ‘high-risk’, which means that – if you fall into one of these groups – you’re more likely to want to explore other options first. You’re a high-risk patient if:
- You’re aged over 50.
- Your BMI is over 50.
- You’re man.
- You have high blood pressure, or hypertension.
- You’ve got a history of breathing problems, including asthma.
- You’ve got a history of hiatal hernia, GERD, stomach ulcers or a history of chronic diseases of the digestive tract.
- You’ve previously undergone an open major abdominal surgery in the upper abdomen.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have a gastric wrap, but it’s important to be aware of the risks you’re taking on when you opt for any surgery. These risks would be discussed in-depth during a consultation with us.
Of course, as a radical weight loss surgery, the gastric wrap is generally for people with high BMIs, and your doctor will consider your BMI when assessing your suitability for surgery. However, it’s a good idea to bear in mind:
- If you’re a yo-yo dieter and experience vast fluctuations in weight, be sure to tell your doc this. If it’s likely that your weight will ‘go up’ again in the future, you may still be considered even if your BMI isn’t currently that high.
- You may want to show your doctor or consultant some photographs of yourself to help him assess your suitability, because the way your weight is distributed around your body will affect the level of risk you are at.
- Depending on your racial origin, you could be more likely to develop co-morbidities associated with obesity. Those of Asian origin may want to consider a gastric wrap more strongly for this reason.
- If you have any co-morbidities, such as type 2 diabetes, you can be much more at risk than others.
Of course, you’ll want to talk about your decision much more before you take the plunge – but that’s why we’re always there, at the other end of the phone.
We get a lot of patients asking for consultations about gastric wrap surgery, and it’s an incredibly popular procedure. Since not many people seem to know much about it before they come to see us, we thought we’d explain the basics of gastric wrap surgery – also known as LGCP surgery – to our readers.
As the least complicated of all weight loss surgeries, and boasting excellent results for patients, it’s no surprise that gastric wraps are so popular. Gastric wraps pose few potential risks and long-term problems, making them one of the safest weight loss procedures on the market today.
Who is it for?
You might want to consider a gastric wrap if you:
- Are looking to lose a significant amount of weight rapidly and permanently.
- Have undergone a gastric band, which has failed.
- Feel more comfortable about this procedure than others which involve the cutting or removal of stomach tissue.
- Are looking for a surgery which requires no adjustment afterwards; significant weight loss should occur as soon as the surgery is completed. However, just like the gastric band, this surgery is reversible.
How does it work?
The gastric wrap works similarly to the gastric band or the sleeve gastrectomy; it enables weight loss purely through restriction, by limiting the amount of food which can be consumed. There is no effect on the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food, unlike with the gastric bypass.
A gastric wrap is performed using very small incisions – it’s considered ‘keyhole’ surgery. The stomach is folded in on itself and the two outer edges are sutured together to create a narrow tube-shaped stomach.
This means that, with a much lower stomach capacity, patients feel full after eating much smaller amounts of food. This can often trigger rapid weight loss within the first few months after surgery.
That’s the basics of gastric wraps covered – watch this space, though, because we’ll be filling you in on even more details about this popular procedure very soon. Is the gastric wrap for you? We’ll soon find out…
“I would like to start with how easy the process was from the beginning. Angela looked after me and answered any questions I had, day or night. I paid my deposit, and Angela booked my flights, apartment and procedure – I had to do nothing. She even checked me in for my flight!”
Did you arrive OK? “On the day of my flight, everything went smoothly and I landed in Prague to be met by my driver, Paul, who was very nice. He took us to the clinic where I was met by troy. I was shown to my apartment, which was lovely, and given a welcome pack with a full itinerary for the following day.”
How did the operation itself go? “The day of the op, I was met downstairs by Troy and taken for pre-op tests. The clinic was clean and most of the staff spoke very good English. Professor Fried was amazing and he sat and answered all of my questions. He explained the procedure in detail, too. I was taken for my op, and when I woke up I felt OK – just a little sick, and I was given meds for this.”
“I felt amazing. A few days later I was discharged back to my apartment, where I stayed until my driver picked me up and drove me back to the airport. Oh – I forgot to add that I was given a phone call every day by Angela to see how I was… Secret Surgery have been brilliant, and I will be coming back for plastics! Thanks Angela!”
What a positive story! We’re always up for hearing more Secret Surgery stories, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with your experiences!
Angela Chouaib – founder and MD at Secret Surgery – is here today to share her weight loss surgery secrets. It’s easy to think that weight loss surgery is about sitting back and letting science do all the work, but that’s not true; after weight loss surgery, it’s important to remember that it’s up to you to develop the habits and behaviours that are going to last the rest of your life.
“Remember that your weight loss surgery isn’t going to do the work by itself. Think of your surgery as a tool, or a stepping stone, which is going to help you get to where you want to be. It isn’t a magical fix.” It might seem like a magical fix when you’re losing pounds and pounds every week at first, but as your weight drops, you’ll find it harder and harder to lose that extra weight, and this is when good diet and exercise will matter.
“It’s just not possible to eat whatever you want and lose weight. Weight loss surgery doesn’t alter your metabolism, so if you’re eating the same foods you were before your surgery, you aren’t making the most of it.” Maintaining a healthy diet is crucial; in the later stages of your weight loss, you’ll only find the pounds dropping off if you’re still eating well and staying active. Don’t let yourself down by falling into old habits.
“Ease yourself slowly into exercise after the surgery. Rest up for six weeks, and then start with light activities like walking and gentle swimming. Exercise will help you to stay toned while the pounds are dropping off.” Losing a lot of weight quickly can be quite a shock to your body, so it’s important to keep your muscles healthy by maintaining a good weekly fitness regime. It doesn’t have to be vigorous, and you shouldn’t start before you feel ready to – but it’s something to factor in after your recovery.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that it’s you who’s in control after weight loss surgery. If you stop losing weight, don’t assume that something ‘isn’t working’ – look at your diet, and think about how it can be improved. It’s not just what you eat, but how much; and you’re the only person who can affect this. Good luck!
After going gastric surgery, there’ll be no doubt about the fact that you’ll be keen to stay fit and healthy with a gentle exercise regime. You shouldn’t do any rigorous exercise for about six weeks after your surgery, but after that you’re good to go. Here are our top tips on how to exercise safely after surgery.
1. Start exercising before your surgery. This will help you to become more flexible and prepare your body for more intense activity after surgery, and it’ll also help with any required pre-surgery weight loss.
2. Start slow. Begin with walking in short increments. This is a great way to ease yourself into exercising. You’ll begin to tone your muscles, which will make future exercised much easier.
3. Talk to your doctor before exercising after your surgery. Your surgeon will be able to tell you when you’re ready to increase your activity level and will let you know about any specific risks that you need to consider.
4. Do 5-15 minutes of cardio exercise before strength training. Strength training is, ultimately, what will help you to increase your muscle mass, but it’s always a good idea to warm your body up with a short cardio workout.
5. Start off with 1 or 2 sets of 6-15 repetitions. You’ll be able to do more as you get stronger and build up your endurance.
6. Don’t overdo it with the weights. Use enough weight so that you can feel some resistance, but don’t strain yourself.
7. Keep a diary of your workouts. Keep track of how much you’re lifting and how many repetitions you’re able to do. As exercising becomes easier, you can begin to add weight and repetitions. A diary will help you to monitor your progress.
Exercise is just one component of your overall weight loss plan. The changes you’ll be making to your diet after gastric bypass surgery will have a huge impact on your weight loss, so don’t feel compelled to overwork your body! What’s most important is that you look after yourself after surgery.
We’ve got another happy patient here today to tell us all about her Secret Surgery story. “To say I was sceptical about surgery abroad would be an understatement. I was very much against it and believed that people who went for surgery abroad were sent to filthy ‘back street’ clinics and operated on by unlicensed surgeons.”
What changed your mind? “It soon became clear to me from speaking to Angela in great detail and from research I had done myself that this certainly wasn’t the case when booking with Secret Surgery. If anything, the facilities that Angela books for her patients are very modern, clean and well-equipped with the most advanced medical equipment. The surgeons based at these facilities are also considered some of the most experienced in their fields. With this in mind, I was very confident about booking my gastric wrap (plication) surgery in Prague with Secret Surgery.”
And how was your stay there? “When I arrived at my luxury apartment I was a little disappointed that I did not have some of the items that were specified in the apartment description but with one call to Angela she was on the case and it wasn’t long before a very apologetic member of hotel staff was delivering me a kettle for my soups along with a DVD player and a selection of English films! This was very nice, as I was going to be spending my recovery time in the apartment too.”
That’s great! Did you feel safe before your surgery, then? “Well, the morning of my surgery I had the pleasure of meeting my surgeon, Professor Fried. The surgery brief was very important and he was happy to answer any questions or concerns that we had. He really put us at ease and was friendly and approachable. Following the surgery, he visited all his patients on a daily basis and had a genuine interest in our recovery.”
Did everything go OK? “I experienced a minor complication with my surgery and had a small bleed. I was placed in a priority room next to the nurses’ station and I was checked on every hour for the first 24 hours, post operatively, to have observations done. The pre-op and post-op checks were very thorough, and I felt well looked after throughout my stay in the clinic. I was also contacted frequently by Angela during this time and she kept a close eye on my recovery including speaking to the clinic staff to ensure I was OK.”
Fantastic. Anything else since you arrived home? “Upon returning to the UK following my surgery, I have had at least weekly contact from Angela and Jane, my dietary advisor, to check on my progress and offer advice with any queries or concerns I may have. The service I have experienced through Secret Surgery is first class and I have recommended this service to many other people already, and will continue to do so!”
“I look forward to my next trip abroad with Secret Surgery for the cosmetic surgery I would like when I reach my target weight. Thanks again Angela, you have been a trusted advisor and, more than that, you have become a good friend to me.”
That’s wonderful to hear! We’re always so pleased to read positive stories from our patients, and it makes everything we do that little bit more worthwhile.
Recently, Barcelona – one of the most beautiful cities in the world – has played host to a collection of experts in the field of weight loss surgery. One such surgeon who attended the conference was Dr. Martin Fried, our own weight loss surgeon here at Secret Surgery.
The conference featured only the world’s top weight loss surgeons, and featured a section on innovations and new techniques, which explored the new methods and technologies that we’re on the verge of discovering in the weight loss surgery industry, with a focus on gastric plication, which is a similar procedure to a sleeve gastrectomy.
Our own Dr. Martin Fried was the Chairman of the course, and has been working in bariatric surgery for over 25 years. At Secret Surgery, we know that the quality of our work is very important, which is why we only work with surgeons at the very top of the tree!
We also know how crucial it is to stay at the front of the pack when it comes to emerging technologies; while all of our procedures and treatments and tried and tested, we’re aware of what’s out there, and what’s coming next, and we assure you that we’ll always be offering the very best and safest surgical techniques available!
At Secret Surgery, something that we get asked about all the time is gastric bypass surgey – and some of its more unsavoury side effects. A lot of ladies are concerned that if they undergo gastric bypass surgery they might suffer from hair loss after the operation. It is an unfortunate possiblibility, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to reduce hair loss and stimulate hair regrowth.
If you’re keen to know why hair loss after gastric bypass surgery happens, it’s all about calories. After the surgery, your body will be forced to subsist on much lower amounts of calories, and which means that none of those calories and nutrients are wasted. Keeping the rest of you alive and pumping is obviously more important than keeping your hair healthy, so it’s your organs that get prioritised.
For this reason, if you want to minimize hair loss, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re eating right straight away after your surgery. You need to take in as much protein as you can; most doctors will recommend something like 60 grams a day, but it can never hurt to get more. If you find this too difficult, you can easily boost your intake with protein shakes and snacks.
Secondly, you need to do everything you can to look after your hair. This means no perms, colour treatments, or straightening for the time being; these treatments will only increase the rate that your hair falls out! Also, keep your hair trimmed regularly for a fuller appearance, and brush it every day. If you’ve got the cash to splurge on really good shampoo and conditioner, now’s the time to do it.
Finally, if you really want to reverse the effects that gastric bypass surgery will have on your hair, you need to promote regrowth by getting your body all the nutrients it needs. Supplements will help you; not just in the way of protein shakes, but also vitamin and mineral tablets, too.
It might sound like a lot, but it’s easy to quickly get into a routine of haircare that should mean you don’t suffer too much hair loss after your surgery. The truth is, it’s not as scary as it sounds, and with our VIP aftercare package, we’ll be with you every step of the way.
As someone who has undergone weight loss surgery herself, Angela Chouaib, MD and founder of Secret Surgery Ltd, knows all the pitfalls and obstacles that a patient can face after their surgery. Luckily, she’s here to give us all some crucial advice about how successfully work with our weight loss ops. “If you stick with these”, she says, “they will be the lifestyle changes that will lead you to a normal BMI, health, and happiness…”
1. Stop Dieting. Remember that you aren’t on a diet – it’s a lifestyle change. Don’t count calories; just place a small portion on a saucer or tea-plate and use that as your guide for portion control. Never plate up more than you need, or you’ll stretch your pouch over time.
2. Eat every three hours, whether you’re hungry or not. This will keep your metabolism going.
3. Only eat until you feel full – then stop. Place the rest of your dinner in the bin; don’t save it to snack on later.
4. Sip water throughout the day from a sports cap bottle. This will limit the speed that you can drink at. Don’t drink and eat at the same time – stop water consumption around 20 minutes before and after each meal. Avoid alcohol wherever possible. Empty calories and fizzy drinks aren’t good for us!
5. Try to eat mainly high-protein foods. Avoid bad carbs, such as rice, pasta, potatoes and bread.
6. Chew your food well when you’re eating. Try to pace your eating by placing your cutlery back on the table in between mouthfuls.
7. Limit yourself when it comes to processed foods. Even if they’re low-fat, they probably don’t contain the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy.
8. Take daily vitamin supplements, and find a time of day when you’ll always remember to take it. For me, it’s with my morning coffee, so they sit next to my sweeteners in the cupboard.
9. Weigh yourself once a week, at most; look at your monthly weight-loss to get an understanding of your averages. Aim for seven to nine pounds per month.
10. You don’t have to treat yourself with food. Nail painting, earrings, massages, face packs and flowers can be just as nice as a sweet snack, but won’t leave you feeling guilty. This, over time, will help you learn to love yourself again without the need for chocolates.
Stay strong! For anyone who has recently undergone weight loss surgery, everyone here at Secret Surgery is rooting for you. You’ll get there!
Weight loss surgery isn’t an easy option; it’s often a last resort for those of us who just can’t shed the pounds any other way. It’s a big decision, and it takes a lot of guts to choose such a life-changing surgery. Today, we’ve got Jim here to tell us about his experience with weight loss surgery at Secret Surgery.
“Angela made my dream come true.” he says. “Many, many a time I thought about have a gastric bypass, but I always always too scared to do so. Angela didn’t push, bully or sell; she just listened, and answered the questions I asked.”
“Having had the operation herself, it made it so easy for me to follow what she had done. You just have to look at her: she’s so happy, and now has dedicated her whole life into helping other people to do the same.”
“My life is now greater than I ever imagined it could be; life changing, yes, but also so much more! Angela was the person that made this happen – and I’ll always thank her for the rest of my life. Everything she said was true. Just listen to her, and follow your dream!”
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Jim! Gastric bypass surgery is a weight loss operation designed for people carrying a lot of excess weight, and it usually results in dramatic weight loss post-operation. If you think it could be for you, don’t hesitate to seek out a consultation with us.
As we approach the half-year mark in 2012, things for Secret Surgery are getting better and better. We’re proud to announce that we’re now officially the 3rd highest rated medical travel agency in the world, according to Patient Review Treatment Abroad.
The reviews on the site are all genuine patient reviews written by previous patients at Secret Surgery, and we’re pleased to be able to report that they’re hugely positive. We can include a snippet from a review here, posted by the user ‘slimjim’, a male patient who underwent gastric bypass surgery with us.
“Angela made my dream come true.” He commented. “She didn’t push, bully, sell, nothing like that… My life is now greater than I ever imagined it could be… Angela was the person that made this happen. I will always thank her for the rest of my life. Everything she said was true. Just listen to her and follow your dream!”
Likewise, our thanks go out to ‘slimjim’ – it’s thanks to people like him, sharing their experiences with us, that means we can be proud to call ourselves the third best medical travel agency in the world.
Angela Chouaib, MD and founder of Secret Surgery Ltd., says “I am competing with companies that have been established and trading for many years, with patient reviews dating back to 2008, so it’s exciting times for Secret Surgery. I hope to be even higher up in the ranks by the end of 2012, and I’m positively focused on providing the best service and care possible, and never losing focus – making each patient feel like the only patient in the process.”
So, whatever you waiting for, gals and guys? Get yourself to Secret Surgery and make your dreams a reality!
I couldn’t list the number of diets I’ve been on with all ten of my fingers, and I know I’m not the only one. I’ve eaten foods that are supposed to aid metabolism that are best left in the far corners of South American jungles, and I’ve dealt with the consequences – which, in my experience, have been more likely to be found in the bathroom than coming off my waistline.
If you’ve had experiences like this, it’s really no surprise if you’re considering weight loss surgery. For far too long the public have stigmatised the idea of weight loss surgery as something for people too lazy and demotivated to lose the weight themselves, naturally. Well, it really is high-time this changed.
Weight loss surgery isn’t something anyone takes lightly. How could it be? Going under the knife is daunting for anyone. But, just as it’s seen as necessary when a very ill patient needs an operation at a hospital, there comes a point, after years of unsuccessful dieting, that weight loss surgery seems to be the only way.
The science behind diets and calorie counting is hardly exact; you don’t need to look at more than a few web pages to see that scientists disagree about how exactly one should go about losing weight on an almost weekly basis. Unfortunately, no one likes to say it, but it’s probably the truth: some people just can’t lose weight the way other people do.
We’ve tried and tried, and yet the pounds don’t drop off. Should we have to suffer the low self-esteem and health problems that come with excess weight, just because of unfortunate biology?
Angela Chouaib, MD and founder at Secret Surgery Ltd., says that “Weight loss surgery really is for those in the last chance saloon; it’s a life-saving operation that should be considered just as valuable as heart surgery. Our patients live longer, happier lives because of these surgeries – and that’s what’s important.”
The beggining of the rest of my life…... Please read this wonderful blog from Stephi Harris a Gastric Wrap Patient of Secret Surgery…
THOUSANDS of Welsh hospital patients are getting free plastic surgery on the NHS, we can reveal today.
Welsh surgeons are performing the ops on patients’ noses, ears, breasts and stomachs with the costs now spiralling to more than £3m a year, figures obtained by Wales on Sunday show.
Last year alone, more than 2,000 patients unhappy with their looks went under the knife for everything from tummy tucks and nose jobs to facelifts and ear-pinning. Welsh hospitals insist very few of the procedures would be done only for cosmetic reasons and patients get the green light on clinical grounds. (more…)