The only regret is that I didn't do the Gastric Sleeve sooner
Alexandrina decided to undergo bariatric surgery 6 months before her 31st birthday. At the time of the surgery, she weighed 105 kilograms and she felt trapped in excessive weight for her entire life. A year later, she says that she is happy and that she finally feels freed. The only regret is that she didn’t do the surgery sooner.
A radical transformation
"For me, it was a radical and very fast transformation. One year was enough to reach normal weight. That was very important, but my mental state is just as important. Now I’m happy. I look at myself fondly in the mirror, as it is normal for any 31-year-old woman. And this is a continuous source of wellness for me. Practically, I am now recovering everything that I have accumulated unpleasantly, frustratingly, and oppressively in the last 10-12 years of my life, when I was continuously accumulating kilograms that I could not get rid of, no matter what I did", confesses cheerfully Alexandrina.
Before the bariatric surgery, Alexandrina weighed 105 kg and she had a body mass index (BMI) of 37.6 kg/m2, which means second-degree obesity. Most of the fat deposits were in the abdominal area, on the thighs and buttocks, a fact that generates increased pressure on the lumbar spine. The preoperative analyses revealed liver and pancreatic suffering, as a result of fat accumulation and gastric damage. In addition, Alexandrina was getting tired very quickly, she was having back pain, and she couldn’t rest well, all completed with a very low level of self-esteem and anxiety.
"I was operated on and treated by Dr. Bogdana Banescu, at the Center of Excellence in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery in Ponderas Academic Hospital. After the checkup I had before the surgery, I realized how severe the situation I was in was, not only physically, but also as a general state from mental point of view. I was eating a lot, I had a feeling of intense hunger, which I later understood was a reaction to mental discomfort and dissatisfaction with the way I looked. I was addicted to sweets, I needed them, and food was a refuge...", the patient remembers about the frustrating period in her life.
She made the decision to do bariatric surgery
"I decided I had to do something. It was a constant frustration. I was wearing XXL clothes and I definitely had the feeling that I had no purpose. In March 2021, I went to Ponderas Academic Hospital where I met Dr. Bogdana Banescu. It was somehow my luck. She explained to me in detail what bariatric surgery means, what the effects are, and what I should expect. It was the first moment when I understood that something could be done to release the person who was hidden in the excessive kilograms that I was carrying with me everywhere. Two months later I was on the surgery table", says Alexandrina.
The decision to do a certain type of bariatric surgery is made based on the patient's weight before the surgery, but also on its ideal value, related to age and height. It also takes into account the general condition, age, type of obesity and the long-term approach for each individual case. It is a decision taken by the multidisciplinary team, and in this case, gastric sleeve was the ideal treatment.
"Gastric sleeve, the stomach reduction procedure, is one of the most used laparoscopic bariatric surgeries. This consists in sectioning the stomach along its length, in order to remove the dorsal portion, where the hunger centers are located. Thus, 80% of the stomach volume will be removed. We make the decision together with the patient, depending on the results of the preoperative investigations and we take into account where we start from and where we want to end up. Obesity is a hormonal disease, hormonally determined by the multitude of secretory cells in the stomach. Gastric resection, as a bariatric procedure, has a beneficial effect on this aspect and generates a significant decrease in feeling hungry. Gastric sleeve removes exactly the side portion of the stomach responsible for inducing and maintaining the feeling of hunger", says Dr. Bogdana Banescu.
Life before bariatric surgery
The struggle with excessive kilograms didn’t have a specific beginning. She was always "chubby", and then overweight. When she was 18 years old, she weighed 90 kilograms she was 168 cm tall, and had a body mass index (BMI) of 28, corresponding to overweight persons, given that a BMI 30 is the lower limit of first-degree obesity.
Alexandrina has a long history always focused on the effort to lose weight. A few years ago, before the surgery, she managed to lose 35 kilograms, with a strict diet, strictly followed for two years. When she gave up the diet, she returned very quickly to her previous weight, but she also accumulated other extra kilograms. Then she reached 120 kilograms.
In the middle of 2021, the analyses performed at Ponderas Academic Hospital with a view to bariatric surgery revealed a body mass almost 30% above normal.
"Obesity means suffering and a major organic and mental stress. The investigations revealed a complex diagnosis. The patient had developed first-degree hepatic steatosis, in a diffuse form, she had gastritis, hiatal hernia, and duodenal ulcer, positive in the test for Helicobacter Pylori. To all this it was added a real psychological discomfort that fueled the general state", explains Dr. Bogdana Banescu.
After surgery. Returning to a healthy life
"From my point of view, the surgery was a restart. I decided that I had to do this surgery. I went to the surgery room with an open heart, without any fear, being sure that it is the best thing I was doing for me. The warm, sincere presence of Dr. Banescu was my most important support. I had full confidence", Alexandrina continues her story.
The surgery went without any incidents, and the patient was discharged a few days later. "I didn't imagine it would be so easy. The day after the surgery, I woke up in the intensive care unit, but I had no pain, no discomfort. I felt so good that I remember perfectly that I asked Dr. Banescu, who had come to see me if the surgery really took place. The next day I was on my feet. Then my incredible transformation began. Liberation, as I say!", remembers Alexandrina.
The return to normality was quick and without any problems for Alexandrina. She followed the doctor's instructions exactly and she comes regularly to all post-operative checkups. Adapting to a new lifestyle was easy, and the fact that she reached 62 kilograms is the best proof of the effectiveness of this surgery.
The post-operative monitoring program in the Center of Excellence in Obesity Surgery in Ponderas Academic Hospital includes counseling, investigations, and customized nutrition recommendations and it extends throughout the rest of the patient's life, the surgery being one that radically changes life - from physical appearance, great weight loss, decreasing visceral fat mass, improving body functions and increasing quality of life.
The recovery also brought benefits to the mental state, as important for a young woman, as the significant weight loss. "I like myself, I have energy, I'm positive, I respect myself, I enjoy my new body, now freed from the trap of excessive kilograms. It is difficult to explain in words what I feel. The general health status has improved considerably, and the liver problems have disappeared. I am another person! Dr. Bogdana Banescu gave me a better life", concludes Alexandrina.
Why have surgery at Ponderas Academic Hospital?
In the Center of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery, care and attention for the patient are important from the first visit and do not stop at the time of discharge.
The complete assessment before the surgery, the dedicated circuit, and the safety of the surgery, used by the entire medical team, as part of the bariatric patient protocol, ensure the excellent results of the more than 13,000 patients operated on in Ponderas.
The monitoring program of each patient's evolution, in the multidisciplinary team, was developed by Ponderas Academic Hospital, so that each patient can enjoy the best long-term results and be in permanent contact with the medical personnel, always attentive to their needs.
Consultant: Dr. Bogdana Banescu, General Surgery Primary Doctor at Ponderas Academic Hospital