Nina: Hi, today here at the Plastic Surgery Hub, we’re talking to the beautiful Jessica. Jessica is 21 years old and she has lost 70 kilos. She used to weigh 150 kilos. And today she’s got to let us know a little bit about her journey. She had a gastric sleeve surgery, and it’s also worth noting she also had a breast lift, a body lift and augmentation, all at the same time. We are going to talk to Jess today about what she went through. We are also going to answer some questions from our readers that we got online.
Nina: So hi Jess, thank you, can you first of all just let us know a little bit about how your journey started, like when did you decide that you needed to lose weight?
Jess: When I was 17 I decided that I needed to do something about my weight. I tried everything before and nothing had worked for me and I just had to do it.
Nina: And could tell us a little bit about what happens first, like, you had your gastric sleeve surgery obviously, how did you decide who to go with?
Jess: Well, there was only one place to go “Weight Loss Solutions Australia” they have the best surgeons and the best team on the Gold Coast.
Nina: Was it painful?
Jess: Yeah, a little bit painful, but it was definitely, definitely worth it.
Nina: And, what’s the worst thing that happened. Basically like, seeing everyone at home wants to know, what’s the worst thing that happened to you, like what did you find the hardest?
Jess: Vomiting and nausea in the beginning was the hardest thing and it was all smooth sailing from there.
Nina: The recovery?
Jess: Yeah, it was fine, about two weeks of nausea and a bit of vomiting, but apart from that it was just fine.
Nina: What was the best thing that happened?
Jess: Losing all my weight, exercise and a good diet.
Nina: What was your diet, like what did you have watch what you ate while you were doing things?
Jess: Cut out junk food and eat a lot of healthy vegetables, fruits and drink a lot of water and just take care of myself.
Nina: So basically that’s what you did to prepare for the gastric sleeve? So coming into it you got healthy?
Jess: I had a pre-op diet which was 2 weeks of Opti slim shakes and then after surgery through the liquid stage and then the puree stage and then onto normal food again.
Nina: Was there anything that you couldn’t or your surgeon didn’t warn you about that you wished someone had told you?
Jess: No he was totally upfront with everything and I didn’t come through anything that he didn’t tell me about.
Nina: Do you think you could have achieved this weight loss without the surgery?
Jess: No, no way.
Nina: Can you eat whatever you want now?
Jess: Yes. I don’t have trouble with any food, nothing gets stuck, I don’t feel sick. I am totally fine with anything.
Nina: Could you tell us what you would eat now like what’s a typical day for you eating wise?
Jess: Special K, salad and brown rice and tuna for dinner.
Nina: So you still eat really healthy?
Jess: Yeah, most of the time.
Nina: Who do you think would benefit from this type of surgery?
Jess: Anyone that finds they have no other way out. Anyone that is just struggling with themselves and can’t find anything else that will help them. They would have tried a lot of things and just really need that help.
Nina: Basically bringing it back to before the surgery, what were you eating?
Jess: I would eat at least 2 family blocks of chocolate every single day. I would eat just junk food, biscuits, chocolates, soft-drink, McDonald’s, you name it, I ate it, every single day.
Nina: And what was the turning point for you that when you just decided that your health was deteriorating did you?
Jess: I was a size 26 and I was 18 and never left the house, I never did anything and I hated my life and I had to do something about it.
Nina: Good on you Jess, thank you so much. Next time, we are going to be talking about Jess’s breast lift and breast augmentation.
Trish: Hi we’re back here at the Hub with Jess, and we’re going to start off by asking Jess just to follow on from our last interview, what’s your typical day’s food now?
Jess: I have a cup of special K with skim milk and a banana for morning tea, big salad for lunch, some more fruit and some nuts. For afternoon tea and something like lean meat or brown rice and tuna for dinner and dessert if I feel like it.
Trish: And do you drink?
Jess: No, I don’t drink alcohol, I never have. Before the operation or now.
Trish: Ok, that saves a lot of calories! Just onto your body lift, why did you have your body lift?
Jess: After losing all that weight and working hard in the gym all the way through, I was still really unhappy with myself. I had a lot of excess skin and I found that the only way for me to fix it was to have surgery.
Trish: Apparently it’s one of the most growing surgeries to have now is the post-surgery, weight-loss surgery. So Jess had a body lift and you had a breast lift and an augment, all at one time? How long was your surgery?
Jess: It was almost 10 hours.
Trish: Wow, it’s a marathon.
Trish: So a couple of questions, with the body lift, you decided to have your body lift because you just too much skin and you weren’t happy with yourself and you wanted to make it better? Did it take you long to recover?
Jess: It was about six weeks before I could start exercising again, not lifting anything heavy but just getting back to walking and getting my life back. So, it wasn’t a very long recovery and everything went well so that really helped.
Trish: And you would do it again?
Jess: Absolutely yes.
Trish: If you look back to that very first week after surgery, did you feel like you are going to die or anything like that, that very first week, did you suffer a lot or anything like that?
Jess: No, it was more of a discomfort than anything, I didn’t have any breast pain at all which is you know quite good. I found that Crossfit helped me, just really strong. I used to lift myself up and down off the bed and look after myself so exercise really helped me get through the surgery.
Trish: How long after the surgery did you start to exercise, like, how long was it before you actually got up out of the bed?
Jess: Getting up out of the bed on my own was the third day with a walker and the nurses to help me, but they like to encourage you to walk as soon as possible.
Trish: How long were you in the hospital?
Jess: A week.
Trish: A week in hospital, so by the time you got home you could walk on your own?
Trish: Okay, did you have tubes?
Jess: I had two drains with me at home but it just depends on how quickly each individual is healing.
Trish: And some doctors don’t even use the tubes anyway, the drain, so just depends on the doctor. So I know you would do it all again if you had to go through it all. What’s your scarring like?
Jess: Its quite minimal. I use Bio-oil and I have had some laser treatments, but I honestly don’t worry about it after I have lost all the skin. It’s – I don’t care!
Trish: I agree, totally. Why did you choose the doctor that you chose? I know you’ve gone with Dr. Dilip Gahankari up on the Gold Coast, so why did you choose him and what is it about him that makes you say that you would go back to him again?
Jess: I was referred to him directly by Weight Loss Solutions and as soon as I met him, I knew that he was the surgeon for me. He knew exactly what it was like for people who had been overweight, through weight loss surgery exactly what they wanted, how to look after me personally. He was amazing, his team were very knowledgeable, really really nice and they were absolutely amazing, I wouldn’t look anywhere else.
Trish: You planning on any other surgeries?
Jess: Yes, in the future I would like to have a Brachioplasty on my arms and possibly a thigh lift as well.
Trish: Okay have you spoken to him about that yet?
Jess: Oh that’s in the future; I have mentioned it to him.
Trish: I know that Dr. Dilip Gahankari does a lot of post weightloss surgery, I’ll probably end up going to see him myself. Now is there anything that you think – that’s the last question there is – someone asks is there anything you think they should know that we haven’t covered here, anything you want think that people should know before they go in for the surgery.
Jess: It’s bad, it’s uncomfortable. But, I would say the first week is where it’s at. It’s about five days of suffering for months, years, a lifetime of being happy with yourself. So if you can talk yourself through the first few days, then do it. Do it for your life.
Trish: So basically write yourself off for a week because you are gonna feel terrible for a week. But then after that you are going to come good.
Thanks so much Jess thank for you talking to us today, and if you have questions that you want to ask Jess, just send them through, we will pass them onto her. Thank you.