Co Antrim woman warns Turkey weight loss surgery complications 'can be for life'

A woman who travelled to Turkey for a weight loss surgery has urged those considering getting treatment abroad to consider the risks.

Patti Louise Grogan, from Crumlin, Co Antrim, has lost six stone since her gastric sleeve operation in August 2022.

She says she is still glad she did it despite some physical and mental health issues, but not everyone will be the same.

The 28-year-old said: "I felt like I had no option anymore. I had tried so many diets, personal training, calorie deficits, things like that.

"I had a massive problem with food, I used it for comfort, I had a bit of an addiction and I just thought if I cut it off at the source it's not an issue anymore.

"I didn't feel like I could turn anywhere for anymore support. I was just getting in a vicious circle so it really was the last straw for me."

On how much research she did into her procedure, she said: "Probably not a lot looking back now, at the time I was very fixated on it for about two weeks before I had made the decision to go.

"But my research wasn't really... it was TikTok basically, it was Facebook groups, it was all very social media based so it wasn't coming from proper reviews and I do feel like at the minute on the likes of TikTok and stuff it's very glamourised so the research probably wasn't as in-depth as it probably should have been."

Ms Grogan says if she knew more of her procedure she may have reconsidered going through with it.

She says: "When you are on TikTok and Facebook it is just success stories it's just, 'it was the best thing I've ever done, I would never take it back'.

"But you don't see what actually happens to people afterwards, you don't see the malnutrition the hair loss, the mental health battles."

The 28-year-old says the the access to these procedures abroad is very easy: "The accessibility to these surgeries is so easy.

"You can literally just go on book the surgery and no one is going to stop you, no one is going to say have you thought about this?"

Ms Grogan is warning people who want to have any weight loss procedure to think hard before making the decision.

"Do a lot of inner work beforehand, ask yourself is this something that I can live with for the rest of my life, you can't take this surgery back, your stomach is gone.

"Even if it is something like the bypass or the band that you can reverse, this is a life-changing surgery that you will always have to deal with and if you do have those complications, those are complications you will have for the rest of your life."

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