Lisa's story

Mum-of-two, Lisa Brabrook from Wigan is thanking surgeons at BMI The Beardwood Hospital in Blackburn after shedding 13 stone following gastric band surgery and transforming not only her body, but also her life.

Lisa, 41, had a gastric band fitted in 2005 at a different hospital, however she was unhappy with the aftercare she received and so made an appointment at BMI The Beardwood Hospital in 2008 to see consultant bariatric surgeon Mr Robert Watson. With the support of Mr Watson and the bariatric team at The Beardwood Hospital, Lisa started to lose weight. Lisa has gone from a tight size 32 down to a comfortable size 14 and is delighted with the results. In July 2009, after successfully losing 13 stone, Lisa went to see consultant plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon, Mr Jeyaram Srinivasan at The Beardwood Hospital, who performed a tummy tuck and breast uplift.

Lisa explains that she was an "emotional eater" and said: "When I was happy, I'd eat and when I was sad, I'd eat. When I stopped smoking and lost my Mum, my weight increased to 25 stone. Following a family holiday, I felt so dreadful about myself as I wasn't able to get involved in any of the family fun. I was so embarrassed about not being able fit on the rides and unable to sit in the café seats that I watched the family enjoying themselves. Then during the holiday, I saw adverts for the gastric band in a woman's magazine and, I felt that this was a sign to act."

"Since having gastric band surgery, people I have known for years walk past me in the street - nobody recognises me! I am now able to wear fashionable clothes, which I have never been able to do before. I am much more confident and willing to take on new challenges. I now enjoy playing with my children and going out, whereas before, I would spend much of my time indoors, hiding myself away. My family and I are enjoying all the new things we can now do together. I love my new body and my relationship with my husband has improved beyond belief!" adds Lisa.

At BMI The Beardwood Hospital, to support patients with their weight loss there is Weight Loss Group run by staff nurse Susan Farmer who is supported by a dietician. There are five meetings throughout the year for patients who have had weight loss surgery or are interested in the surgery, with talks and guidance on exercise plans to aid the patient's weight loss programme.

In addition to Lisa's physical transformation and new found confidence, she's had a complete career change. Before her weight loss, Lisa was an administrator in a local school working in the office, but she had always wanted to work directly with the children. Following her weight loss, Lisa was at last confident enough to develop her career, and now works one-to-one with a child with special needs in school.

Lisa said: "Before my weight loss I could not have achieved this as I didn't have the confidence and felt I was too big to work with children. My new job is quite physically demanding but I can cope easily with the demands of the job and I love every minute of it! Having my gastric band and cosmetic surgery has changed my life in so many ways!"

"I would recommend gastric band surgery to people who are overweight as long as they are prepared to work with the band and follow the rules; it does work and tremendous weight loss can be achieved. I would also recommend cosmetic surgery to anyone who feels they would benefit from it. It has been a wonderful experience for me and I believe that it has enhanced my life greatly. I would say don't wait – if you are considering weight loss surgery or cosmetic surgery, go for it! You never know how much better you will look and feel," adds Lisa.