Anne Diamond Gastric Band
Due to an inability to lose weight and keep the weight off conjoined with medical problems, Anne Diamond sought professional medical advice. She opted for gastric band surgery as a last resort to the diets and diet pills she had tried unsuccessfully over the years.
In the autumn of 2006 Anne travelled to Belgium for the operation. Unfortunately the operation did not go to plan (although Anne did not know at the time) with the Belgian surgeon placing the band in the wrong place. After the operation, Anne stayed one night in the hospital before returning to the UK. She followed the nutritionists advice of taking in only liquid for the first two weeks and then only soft foods for the following two weeks. Anne was full of hope as she believed she had recovered quickly. Within weeks however, these hopes were ruined.
When Anne went on to the third stage of the diet, eating food of any textures, she did not feel any different to how she had before the operation. The gastric band operation is supposed to limit the amount of food you can eat, yet Anne could eat a full meal and then still go back for seconds. A friend of hers suggested that she might need some saline injecting into the band in order for it to start working so she returned to Belgium, paid the surgeon 50 euros and again left hopeful that she would start to lose the weight.
Once back in the UK however, Anne found yet again that she could still eat as much as she wanted without feeling full. She started to feel convinced that she was the only person who the operation just would not work for.
Celebrity Fit Club
Whilst back in the UK, Anne was approached by 'Celebrity Fit Club'; a television programme which showed celebrities trying to lose weight. She initially found the programme fun and was losing around two pounds a week. Not long into the programme however, the media found out that Anne had had a gastric band operation. She was removed from the show, labelled a cheat and continually laughed at by the media. The only good thing Anne received from being ousted was a phone call from a lady called Donna Ross, who herself had lost seven stone with a gastric band and was surprised to find someone who's band was not working.
Donna Ross now worked for a company who performed gastric bands on patients throughout the UK. She suggested Anne have an x-ray, which later showed that the gastric band had been placed around the oesophagus instead of the stomach, which was why she was not losing any weight. In March 2007 Anne had a private operation in the UK to redo the original botched surgery. Several weeks later her band had finally started to work.
Since the gastric band operation Anne has dramatically dropped five dress sizes and over four stones in weight; she now weighs ten stone. Speaking about the operation in 2006 Anne said gastric band surgery should only be considered as a last option. For her she believed that the gastric band helped to bring some consistency to her weight loss and helped her to keep a stable, healthy weight.
Anne is now campaigning for the NHS to offer more gastric band operations each year to encourage people to stay in the UK for the surgery rather than travelling abroad like she did for potentially faulty surgery. She also believes that offering more people the surgery now will make savings for the NHS at a later date.