Obese nurse Karen Smith spends £20,000 to get her sex life back after Gastric Band Surgery Weight LossKaren was not eligible for treatment on the Gastric Band NHS programme, because she could not meet the NHS Gastric Band Criteria, so in June 2009 she booked in for gastric band surgery at a private hospital in the UK
An obese nurse who lost 10st and was left with folds of saggy skin all over her body paid £20,000 to get her sex life back.
Karen Smith, 42, from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, was so self-conscious about her baggy skin and drooping breasts, she felt ‘more confident when she was fat.’
A former size 28, she took out a £10,000 loan and used an Eastern European clinic to have cheap surgery and achieve the ‘body of her dreams’.
Now, the size 12 mother from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, loves showcasing her body and dressing up for her husband Darren Smith, 43.
Size 28 Karen was extremely self-conscious and despite being active through work, Karen was unable to shift the pounds and weighed 21st thanks to a carb-heavy diet.
In 2009, she had lost two stone naturally but was unable to slim down any further. Karen was not eligible for treatment on the NHS, so in June 2009 she booked in for gastric band surgery at the private Spire Parkway hospital in Birmingham for £5,000.
She said: ‘After the gastric band surgery, my stomach was so small I was on a liquid diet for six weeks and then tiny portions.’
Seven months after the gastric band surgery, Karen had lost 9st 7lb and was a size 10 but she was left with folds of saggy skin due to the quick weight loss.
She said: ‘The baggy skin was worse than I’d ever imagined. Folds of flesh on my tummy meant slim cut jeans pinched.
‘My bingo wings were so hefty. I had to go up to a size 12 just to cover my lumps and sagging bumps.’
Her husband comforted her but she was so horrified she was no longer able to have sex with him.
She said: ‘I’d been more confident fat. My 44C boobs had shrivelled to a 36AA.
‘Where my full thunder thighs had once constantly rubbed, a waterfall of skin sagged between my legs.
‘Just to get comfortable when sitting, I had to tuck the loose flesh into my knickers. ‘The only way I could even look at myself was when I was fully dressed, all covered up.
‘I couldn’t even bear for Darren to see me naked.’
In late 2010, Karen made a doctors appointment to start the process of having the skin removed.
She said: ‘All the procedures I’d need came in at £35,000. I couldn’t afford to have it done privately this time and it was making me severely depressed.’
After being turned down for a loan, Karen’s depression caused her to tell Mr Smith to leave her.
She said: ‘We’d been together 22 years, had spent so long really happy but I couldn’t remember the last time we’d had sex.
‘Every time he came close to me, I cringed imagining his secret disgust at how I looked. I knew it wasn’t rational.
‘He refused and insisted I looked amazing and he loved me – but I was miserable and just couldn’t seem to pick myself up.’
Mr Smith knew how hard it was for his wife and they took out a smaller loan of £10,000.
After searching through the options available, Karen found she could afford to have surgery if it was performed abroad.
Just a day after the surgery in August 2012, the dressings were removed.
She said: ‘My bingo wings were gone. Karen was so pleased with the results she wanted more surgery and taking Mr Smith’s concerns on board, she opted to have more serious operations, a tummy tuck and thigh lift, in the UK.
Although the procedure went as planned, she was not entirely satisfied and booked more surgery.
She said: ‘Seeing that problems can happen at home too, Darren agreed to me going abroad again.’
In April 2013, she headed back for breast augmentation, uplift and corrective surgery to her thighs.