How BBC Radio Lancashire presenter Hayley Kay '100 per cent regretted' having a gastric band fitted

Hayley Kay in hospital
Hayley Kay in hospital

Newspaper columnist and radio presenter Hayley Kay has revealed how a gastric band had brought six years of misery as she struggled to keep her food down.

Newspaper columnist and radio presenter Hayley Kay has revealed how a gastric band had brought six years of misery as she struggled to keep her food down.
Now, as she finally had it removed, she warns other about the pitfalls of bariatric surgery.

Hayley Kay now

Hayley Kay now

The 41-year-old from Blackpool had been dieting since the age of 18 and whilst initially successful, by the time she hit her 30s, she could not get any smaller than a 16. So, she opted to pay for a gastric band, which came at a price of £5,000.

She said: “I felt I was on a perpetual diet all the time and it made me miserable. Back in 2012 I had a lot of expendable income, so surgery was a natural choice that I could afford to do.
“I didn’t enter into it lightly and I considered it for a long time. I didn’t even tell my parents as I didn’t want to be swayed.”
After a lot of research, Hayley had surgery at Dolan Park Hospital in Birmingham through My Hospital Group.

She said: “It was all really quick. I had my consultation in February 2013 and the band put in April. It took me a few days to recover but then I went back to work. I didn’t tell anybody.”

But after a short while, Hayley began to notice something was wrong and she was unable to keep her food down. She visited the clinic several times to have the band adjusted, but nothing seemed to work.

Radio Wave's Hayley Kay took part in a new fitness regime with Chris Richards, owner and head coach at 29Ten Fitness

Radio Wave's Hayley Kay took part in a new fitness regime with Chris Richards, owner and head coach at 29Ten Fitness

She added: “It was a bit of a nightmare. I knew something wasn’t quite right with it very early on.
“After the procedure, you’re left with a port just underneath the skin, which allows saline to be injected into the band until the correct level of restriction is achieved. This just didn’t happen for me and I was revisiting the clinic every other week for another adjustment. I felt like my body didn’t want this. The Hospital Group referred me to a dietician as if I was not following their instructions but that was not the cause. I felt they didn’t want to know.”

Hayley had the band emptied when she was pregnant with her son, Freddie, in 2015. But her symptoms persisted.
She said: “An empty gastric band should have provided no restriction at all, but I began suffering with the worst acid reflux and frequent regurgitation. Some nights I’d wake up and be choking on my stomach acid. Most days I regurgitated any food that was bulky or fibrous.”

Hayley finally made the decision to have the band removed and the procedure was successfully carried out by the NHS at The Phoenix Group in Cheshire.
She added: “Thankfully, my horrible symptoms have gone. I 100 per cent regretted having it. I truly believe companies prey on people’s insecurities, promising them what they can’t deliver.

“Six years on, I’m almost as heavy as I was when I had the thing fitted.”

A spokesman from The Hospital Group said: “As with any surgery, gastric band surgery carries potential risks, complications and side effects, which will vary from patient to patient. For instance, there is a small risk of slippage or intolerance to a band, which may cause sickness and regurgitation. If patients eat too quickly or take mouthfuls that are too large, they could find themselves feeling sick after eating or needing to regurgitate food.
“All patients will discuss the potential risks and side effects prior to any procedure.
“All patients will also receive a full package of aftercare and it is important patients follow the after-care diet to reduce these risks.”