More obese teens should be given stomach stapling surgery –
Christchurch woman Brioney Henderson-McGregor, 26, had bariatric surgery 11 years ago but was reluctant to recommend it for young people.
“If I didn’t have the surgery I would be dead but then I was also too young because I didn’t understand the change I would have to make in my life. I was 15.”
Henderson-McGregor weighed 168kg, had type 2 diabetes and was waking several times a night because she had stopped breathing due to sleep apnoea.
She had been diagnosed with hyperinsulaemia, the over- production of insulin, which may have contributed to her constant and overwhelming desire to eat.
Henderson- McGregor lost about 70 kg after the surgery but developed an eating disorder after becoming scared to eat.
“My mental state got out of hand because I thought, ‘if I eat I’m going to get fat’.”
After the surgery, she was not able to play sport as she was told the staples could rupture.
As an 18-year-old, she said the operation restricted her ability to socialise because her friends wanted to drink and eat food she was not able to.
Now a part-time chef and studying towards a bachelor of science in nutrition, Henderson-McGregor said she could probably still lose 10-20kg but was not morbidly obese.