“I chose to have gastric band in 2015 as my weight was having a major negative impact on my life. I was struggling to breathe and gasping for air just walking upstairs, I couldn't do up my shoelaces, had anxiety and low self-esteem and I felt so self-conscious whenever I went out that I only went to work and back.
I was a serial failed dieter. I had tried so many diets and had come to the end of my tether. I was tired and exhausted from trying them all. The final straw came at a staff wellbeing day at work. The nurse took my blood pressure and my BMI was so high I wasn't on the chart. I was so embarrassed and it was then I realised I needed help to get my life back in control.
I chose THG because of their low cost affordable finance. I couldn't believe that I, an ordinary guy from a council estate, could afford treatment at a private hospital. It was something I thought only the rich and famous could afford!
My THG journey has been amazing. I’ve felt fully informed every step of the way. All my questions were answered fully, all options considered and my expectations managed over a two-year outcome. I chose to book my surgery for 19 March 2015. Each year I celebrate this day as my 'Bandiversary' – the day I got my life back.
After my recovery period I had the support of the dieticians and the nurses, they stayed in regular contact and would administer my band fills. They were so knowledgeable and supportive, I don't think I could have done it without them.
Since the surgery my life has changed so much, I look completely different, unrecognisable in fact - I have a neck and ears! My weight is now 11 and a half stone, compared to 20. I have so much more energy, feel younger and have never been happier.
I can confirm none of the many preconceived ideas about having a gastric band are true. You can eat a full balanced diet and eat any food you choose; you don’t miss out on anything, you just have to eat smaller portions.
I’d say to anyone don't be embarrassed to ask for help, there is no shame in needing a hand. The only regret I have is not doing it sooner.
Mr Richardson qualified in Medicine in 1989. His specialist training has focused on banding, gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy placements.
He has attended courses in both Europe and the USA furthering his experience and knowledge in bariatric surgery.