"I’ve lost almost 70 kg and became the happiest person ever" – Jasmine from Great Britain shares her sleeve gastrectomy experience.

28-years old Jasmine struggled trying to lose weight all her life. All the diets and restrictions did not work. The woman decided to make a sleeve gastrectomy – a bariatric procedure that removes 75-80% of the stomach and helps induce weight loss by restricting food intake. Jasmine lost almost 70 kg after a procedure, and her life has changed completely. She shared the hardest and happiest moments of her story with us. Jasmine explains everything you face going through this procedure.

Jasmine: before and After

Hayder Aligab, Bookimed medical coordinator, comments:

Hayder Aligab, Bookimed MDJasmine requested on BOOKIMED in the NewYear Time 2021.

Initially, she was interested in lipo surgery. But her BMI 34+ (Obese Class III) showed to proceed liposuction too risky.

She was a rather candidate for a bariatric procedure.

I explained a situation to Jasmine, and she was satisfied with the medical opinion provided. She was planning to have a baby and worried that her obesity may affect a child’s life. 

So, Jasmine was recommended to have a gastric sleeve surgery at Saluss Medical Center, Turkey. Bookimed arranged the whole trip, booked flight tickets during COVID restrictions, and finally Jasmine came to Antalya on the 20th of July 2021.

Many thanks to our partner Saluss Medical Group. The staff took care of Jasmine starting from the welcome at the airport till the post-op medical follow up and transfer to the airport back to hometown:). For me personally it was an unforgettable case.

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My biggest challenge in life was being overweight

All my life, I have had a lot of health challenges. I was overweight and didn't take care of myself. When I got married two years ago, I realized that weight causes problems with having a child.

I've been on a diet and tried to lose weight for several years, but my attempts have failed. Since every time you promise that you'll do it, it always goes out the window.

My whole life, I had issues with clothing. Most of the jeans or dresses didn't fit. It was always a mess, even at my wedding. My dress just ripped, and then I got stuck in it. That was awfully uncomfortable to be in a torn dress the entire wedding.

Being overweight affected my health and significantly impacted my social and work life. I've always been an active person. I run a charity group in the UK called the Sapphire Community. That's where we help young people with employability and give them mental health support. My main goal, my passion, is to support young people to believe in themselves and be the leaders I know they can be.

The other part of my occupation is politics and cooperation with Conservative Party. I'm currently working on getting women into political positions. I'm giving them a platform to help their community.

Also, I'm a writer. I've currently published 12 books with short stories, novels, poetry, and romance. It's hard to believe that I always find time for all those activities. But I think when you're doing something you love, it feels like it's a part of you. So you always have time for that.

I wanted to be able to do more and fulfill my full potential. And knowing how my body condition affects my job and life, I realized that I needed to change my lifestyle. That's why I decided to learn more about gastrectomy.

My friend and my sister had a preeminent influence on me. One of them had a gastric sleeve experience two years ago, and another did a procedure three years ago. My decision was based on their experience, feedback, and my insights from observing their lives for years afterward. I saw how gastrectomy changed their lives, and that inspired me. Furthermore, I did a big to ensure it was really what I needed.

Jasmine Before Gastrectomy Experience Photos

Jasmine before gastrectomy

It was super hard but worth every moment of it

My sister told me about Bookimed earlier, so I already knew about this platform when deciding about a vertical sleeve gastrectomy experience. Thanks to them, my way to the surgery was not as hard. I knew for sure what I wanted and how everything would be, so my gastrectomy journey was not so difficult. 

Bookimed helped me find the best clinic where this surgery was available. We chose a hospital located in Turkey, Saluss Medical Center. Before gastrectomy, I had to do an initial application online, a consultation session, and a video call when I was instructed about the whole process. Then I came to Turkey and finally had surgery. 

I have to admit that recovery from the procedure was the most challenging process in my life. After the surgery, I was in a lot of pain. I couldn't eat for several weeks and was on a liquid diet for months. Other than that, I don't remember much.

What is firmly imprinted in my memory – the doctors were attentive, friendly, and welcoming. I came alone there without my family, on my own. I was definitely terrified and scared. Besides, I was only 28, so I had obsessive thoughts that I hadn't done so much before I died (laughing). But at the same time, I knew that I needed to take this step to become healthier. 

An amazing team in the clinic was supportive all the time. The staff picked me up from the airport and gave me a nice dinner at night before the surgery. When the gastrectomy was done, they constantly ensured that I was okay and doing all I needed — even staying on the sofa with me. 

When I decided to come back to work, they just let me go and supported me remotely. I was in the clinic for only 5 days, and despite being in a lot of pain, it was a good journey thanks to the doctors, all the medical staff, and the Bookimed. Now it's worth every moment of it.

Jasmine after gastrectomy surgery

The hardest thing was to refuse from favorite food

My gastrectomy success story is not smooth and requires discipline. For the first week or two after the surgery, I could only have water and apple juice. Later I moved on to broth soups. But even at that point, it was tough for my stomach to digest it.

The hardest part is that I can't eat all my favorite foods anymore. I knew it before, but I didn't imagine how much it would hurt me. For example, I'm Nigerian, and our cuisine consists of spicy food. Now I can't eat the red pepper I used to because my stomach will suffer from the spices. 

Also, I needed to quit all sugars, chocolate, or sweets I loved after surgery, which mentally was hard for me. For now, I eat only natural sugars. A diet sometimes led to heartburn. I felt it often at the beginning of recovery. Now it also happens, but rarely.

I had also felt more tired in the beginning until my body was able to get all nutrients and other useful elements again. I needed the energy to do a lot of work, and I couldn't get it from the food because what I ate was not enough. Nobody prepares you to struggle while walking, to feel that your body cannot do what it could before. 

Eventually, I went from eating a very unhealthy diet to a very healthy one, so that transition was harsh and hard for my body to take. But I had strong support from my mother, sister, and doctors, so I was okay.

Jasmine after gastrectomy

My diet is strict, but I feel strong and free

There are so many things I don't do now after gastrectomy. I used to be a meat-eater. Now, I'm pretty much a pescatarian/vegan. Now I prefer seafood and salads instead of beef or chicken. 

My portion became very small, so I eat more often – four to five times a day. Because of these restrictions, I don't like going to restaurants anymore because it doesn't make sense.

Also, my diet regime is more structured. I start my day very early and have my breakfast at 6:00 A.M. It could be anything – from oats or cereal to fruit or yogurt. At 10–11 am, I have a mini-snack.

Then my lunch starts. It could be soup. I love it, so I'm having quite a lot of soups. After that, I have a snack with nuts and plantain chips as well. My dinner should only be around 6–7 P.M. I can eat anything from prawns and vegetables to mashed potatoes. I also like to add something from African cuisine.

I usually blend loads of smoothies during the day and drink different types of green tea. I consume a lot of protein. I don't really eat carbs anyway, trying to cut as many carbs, especially the bad ones, as possible.

I eat unhealthy food only once a month. However, I try to give it up because it doesn't feel good after. Especially since I signed up for the gym. The one thing I'm trying to increase is my water intake. I've never liked water, so I'm trying to improve how much water I drink. This is what I'm working on. My diet is strict, but that gives me power and freedom.

My marriage got stronger. I had shrunk 10 sizes

Despite all the restrictions I have to deal with now, I feel much better mentally. I think my productivity has improved. Now I wake up early, fully energized, more focused, and able to manage more things than I've ever done before.

A healthy lifestyle led to a better mood. My relationships are also better, and my marriage has strengthened. After the surgery and recovery, I began to feel more confident and comfortable. It allows me to relax, be good to myself, and help others. As a person who is always among people, I really need that.

Now, it's easier for me to choose clothes that fit well. I weighed 146 kg and wore a size 22 for years. Now I'm 78 kg and wearing size 10. In the last two months, I changed the size from 12 to 10. We'll see what happens next. 

Before you experience а gastrectomy, make sure you're doing it for yourself

I'm grateful that I was strong enough to pass that whole way of losing weight and make my life better and more comfortable. It would be much more difficult to do without such support and assistance from Bookimed and doctors performing surgery.

The team supported me during admission, recovery, and my diet afterward and gave me the needed tools and resources. It was not just a one-time appointment but a monthly check-in on your health status. So I'm delighted not only with the operation itself but also with the whole process.

Before you take this journey, make sure you're doing it for yourself because it's literally going to be a radical lifestyle change. From my experience, if you dare to do a gastrectomy, it could be the best thing you could ever do.

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