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Tracey-lee Featherstone

(as you would wish us to refer to you when using your testimonial, for eg Jane Smith, or, Jane, or Mrs Smith, or Mrs Jane Smith.)
Tracey-lee Featherstone


After Years of struggling with my weight, and all the side effects, – both Physical & psychological, I made the decision to go ahead with this surgery in March 2014. Everything was going perfectly and by October 28th 2014 I had lost 47kgs.
After a friend’s Birthday dinner i was rushed into hospital & had emergency surgery to remove a bezoar, a collection of undigested fibres (specifically broccoli & cauliflower) which had lodged in my small intestine from the raw vegetables i had been eating the week previously. MOST IMPORTANTLY, I was not drinking enough water (literally only 1 or 2 cups of coffee).
An unknown pre-existing fissure in my small intestine started leaking into the new wound and i became infected from the inside! After 2 months in Hospital and a fight for my life, I was discharged and with the help of my Incredible surgeon Dr. G.Du Toit & dietitian, Mandy Read I got straight back on track – This time DRINKING WATER regularly.
At this point, visually, my abdomen was a scarred, disfigured mess, but I was alive and still losing weight.
In May 2015 (14 months later) i had reached my goal weight of 52kgs from 119kgs (67kgs in total). I have remained within 1kg of that weight since.
In July Dr. Paul McGarr repaired everything and made me look Brand new! He created a new belly button, removed the dead excess tissue and repaired my abdominal wall Hernia.
I no longer have any cravings; I can easily have just one block of chocolate.
Food is no longer my enemy, but now it’s simply the fuel i need to live.
Finally I can partake in Life again, instead of watching it from the shadows


Up until 2013 I had continuously been trying an endless list of diets – if I lost anything I would soon gain it back again. People would say you need to do more exercise – easy enough in theory but when you are overweight it is no small feat, both physically and psychologically. I had started to hear about bariatric surgery and began to research it.
What I was discovering seemed too good to be true, but at least it gave me hope. After my first appointment with Dr. DuToit was elated that this could finally be the solution, but the medical aid plan I was on would not cover any of it – I waited another year to upgrade it and went through the pre assessment’s required. Finally it was approved for 80% cover so I took a personal loan to cover the balance. A small price for everything it has given me.


Surprisingly the surgery is very un-intrusive and painless. A week or two down the line you would not even tell you had been under the knife!
A number of things change almost immediately – keep in mind that being re-introduced to solids again does mask some of these initially but your appetite has definitely “left the building”! and so have your urges for something sweet. In fact this is the welcome beginning a new challenge, the re-training of your mind! Mentally you still think you want the things you used to, so you do end up trying them – only to learn that it’s exactly the opposite!
You no longer feel hungry and as it take 30 min’s for the effects of what you have eaten to become apparent you need to learn your limits so you can apply them before. Your tastes completely change as well.
Learning to drink and eat separately is also important – there is no room for both anymore!


Beside the life expectancy improvements, my quality of life has improved by 100%,
I am no longer embarrassed about myself.
I can get up and grab a pair of board shorts and a vest and go to the beach, no longer spending time trying to find something to wear that hides things.
I can buy clothes in other colours besides black!
I can take the stairs instead of the lift!
I don’t have to carry around a small towel for all those hot flushes – they have GONE!
No more anti acid medication!
I can swim when it’s hot instead of taking cold showers in private.
No more back pain, or aching shins and ankles.
No more water retention and heat rashes.
I can wear belts again.
I can get back on the boat by myself when scuba diving instead of being hauled on, like a beached whale by the skipper.
I can go to a restaurant without thinking everyone is watching what I’m going to eat and how much.
People talk to me, not down to me.
Sadly there is a difference to your place in society depending on whether or not you are overweight.
I finally feel free.

Surgeon: Dr Gert du Toit