Gastric balloon helps Radlett woman fight the fat

LOSING weight was easy for a mother of three once she fought the fat with a gastric balloon. Karen Beach, aged 35, of Willow Way, Radlett, dropped from a dress size 22 to a 10 in the space of six months following an operation with the National Obesity Sur

LOSING weight was easy for a mother of three once she fought the fat with a gastric balloon.

Karen Beach, aged 35, of Willow Way, Radlett, dropped from a dress size 22 to a 10 in the space of six months following an operation with the National Obesity Surgery Centre last summer.

A balloon was inserted into Karen's stomach and inflated to reduce her stomach capacity, thus limiting the amount of food she could comfortably consume. By the time it was removed in January, Karen had lost nearly six stone.

Karen, an adult-education teacher, said that she has managed to keep her new size 10 figure thanks to the Centre's aftercare programme: "Alongside my ever-supportive husband Richard, they helped keep me on track when I would have given my right arm for a bowl of pasta."


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The gastric balloon operation, which costs nearly �5,000, was a last resort for Karen, who piled on the pounds when she was pregnant with her now seven-year-old twins, Joshua and Shoshana.

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Karen, who also has a two-year-old son, Samuel, said that she decided to take drastic action after seeing herself in a photo taken last year. She added: "It was taken at a friend's wedding and at the time I thought I looked great but then I saw the photo the next day and spent the whole morning in tears."

Karen, who opted for the balloon because it was a non-invasive procedure, said that she could still enjoy her food: "I still go out for dinner with my husband at least once a week but now I choose the healthier options. And although I'd opt for a fruit salad pudding nowadays, I still manage to squeeze in a sneaky bit of chocolate."

Karen said that having the operation was one of the best decisions she had ever made: "I feel sexy for the first time in years. I can enjoy shopping trips, I can borrow clothes from my friends and, best of all, I can run around with my children in the park. I love the new me!

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