Gastric band patient to sue NHS

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Indy Lifestyle Online

A man who lost half his weight after gastric band surgery was preparing to sue the NHS today - claiming he would rather be fat again.

Tim Daily told how he weighed 24 stone, suffered severe diabetes and had a series of "mini-strokes" before undergoing surgery to reduce his stomach capacity.

But the 47-year-old, from Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, claims he now faces a lifetime of agony and being fed through a tube.

He is launching legal action against Charing Cross Hospital, where the operation was carried out.

Mr Daily, a financial adviser, said staff at the hospital may be considering reversing the operation.

He told the Milton Keynes Citizen: "I'd rather be 24 stone again than this. I'd say only have a gastric bypass fitted if your life depends on it.

"People often think having this op is a quick fix, but they need to be more aware of the risks."

Mr Daily said he had the operation in October 2008 and lost 12 stone in 12 weeks.

"By January the following year I was meant to start eating solid food," he added. "But I couldn't because of the pain. I was collapsing a lot and was rushed to hospital where I was found to be malnourished."

Gastric band surgery involves realigning the digestive tract and sectioning the stomach so its capacity is greatly reduced and the patient is unable to consume large amounts of food.

Mr Daily told how he has since had more surgery to fit a tube to pass liquid food directly into his stomach.

Nutrients are pumped straight into his stomach from a backpack worn during the day and a machine beside his bed at night.

He claims doctors believe his nerves were damaged by complications following the operation - leaving him in pain whenever he attempts to eat solid food.

He told the paper he has been unable to work fully since the operation and his wife Jenny has become his full-time carer.

A spokeswoman from Imperial College Healthcare said: "With every gastric bypass operation there is a 5% risk of health complications after surgery.

"Before undergoing any form of surgery, we explain the risks and potential complications to every patient, and ask for their consent."

The number of people in England undergoing surgery on the NHS to help them lose weight has increased 10-fold in less than a decade.

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) reports operations such as gastric banding and bypasses rose from 238 a year, in 2000, to 2,543 in 2007.