A WOMAN has been left on the brink of death after a botched gastric band operation saw her weight plummet to just six stone.
Leeds woman Julie Dunbar, 58, decided to have surgery after her weight reached 20st.
She thought a gastric band operation would help her lose weight and change her life.
Julie said: “I had mental health problems and was put on medications that make you bigger. They made you ravenous, so a diet wasn’t quite as easy for me.
“I used to go and do aqua aerobics and I was always on some silly diet, but I was getting fatter and fatter.”
Seventy per cent of her stomach and two-thirds of her intestine were removed in the operation, which cost her £11,000.
However, just hours after the surgery she said she began to feel sick.
“I went home and it carried on and I had severe abdominal pains,” she said.
“The fact that I was being sick every day after everything I ate should have been a red flag.”
She lost two-thirds of her weight over the next year, suffering from undernourishment and a lack of essential vitamins.
“It wasn’t me looking in the mirror. I’d never looked like that, this skeletal thing. You could see my bones sticking out,” she said.
“I felt so horrible I wouldn’t go anywhere.”
She underwent treatment for six weeks, but she still suffered extreme side effects from her surgery.
She visited a nutritionist who then took her to a consultant – saying Julie was “going to die” without any specialist help.
Julie went under the knife again to have a metre added to her intestine.
She gained some weight after the second surgery, and is now on a diet of 5,000 calories a day – more than twice the average amount for most women.
She takes a staggering 40 different kinds of medication and has issues with osteoporosis, balance, vision and her mobility.
Julie said she didn’t realise the “dire effect” her gastric bypass operation would have.
“If I could time travel back I would say to the psychiatrist, ‘There must be an alternative’,” she said.
“It’s just accepting this is the way it’s going to be. I’m going to be on these tablets for life. It’s not something that’s going to get better. I’m disabled and unlikely to work ever again.”
Plastic Surgery Knifemares screens on 5STAR this Thursday at 9pm.