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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 November 2005, 13:53 GMT
How surgery changed Buster's life
By James Clarke
BBC News, England

Buster Bloodvessel in 2004, after his operation
Buster Bloodvessel lost about 19 stone following his operation
Buster Bloodvessel, the larger-than-life front man of 80s band Bad Manners, once tipped the scales at 31 stone (197kg).

In the band's heyday Buster - real name Douglas Trendle - was famous as much for his size and appearance as his singing.

But his weight took its toll on his health and in February 2001 he collapsed on stage in Italy and was taken to hospital with a strangulated hernia.

The father-of-two needed surgery but doctors in the hospital in Perugia were worried he might not survive the operation because of his size.

But he pulled through and in 2003 the singer, whose band had hits with Lip Up Fatty, Special Brew and Can Can, had surgery at Nuffield Hospital in Leeds - a gastric bypass, which saw most of his stomach removed.

He told the BBC News website "I feel a million dollars" and explained how the operation has changed his life.

Buster Bloodvessel, singer with Bad Manners
First of all I felt a complete ballerina, I was hopping about on stage
Buster Bloodvessel

"The surgeon, Professor Michael McMahon, was absolutely fantastic - when he found out I was a singer he actually designed an operation to improve my breathing through my stomach.

"He actually cut out two thirds of my stomach, which was quite drastic.

"I've never felt quite so fit and to get to 47 years old and feel like I did when I was about 18, when I was a rugby playing youth, that's amazing.

"I really have no trouble now doing any exercise, I'm constantly stretching and improving my physical outlook.

Buster Bloodvessel before his operation
Buster Bloodvessel admits he did enjoy life as a fat person

"I was almost a lost cause, I had dieted and done quite well dieting but every time I lost weight I put it back on.

"Even though I enjoyed being a fat person I feel that much better as a fit person, it gives you self-confidence and a desire to live.

"I feel, after listening to statistics about how it improves your lungs and cuts your risk of cancer, everything is on the up.

"When you go into a doctor's surgery and they say you're very fit it makes you feel good inside.

"First of all I felt a complete ballerina, I was hopping about on stage, it's definitely improved my performance.

"It's a bit of a shock for the crowd, they used to sing 'you fat bastard' to me - I didn't used to mind that but they still sing it and now they feel awkward about it.

Buster Bloodvessel performing dressed as Henry VIII in 1981
My brain is still saying 'That tastes good, why don't you have some more?'
Buster Bloodvessel

"No matter how happy I was before, you would like to be able to go into a normal shop to buy clothes. When I could do that, it just changed my feeling about life.

"I've spent a fortune on clothes. When I got down to about 16 stone (102kg) from 31 stone (197kg), I felt so good that I could fit into these clothes I bought a load of them and then three months later I was down to 12 stone (76kg) and the suits looked ridiculous on me.

"And still the eating side is a bit of a problem - I love red meat but it's very well-chewed.

"I can't eat more than a quarter of a meal that I would have eaten before, but my brain is still saying 'That tastes good, why don't you have some more?'

"It's all about educating the brain because every time if I over-eat I will be sick, so that isn't good.

"But these few bad things don't take away from the fact that I feel fantastic."

Q&A: Obesity
26 May 04 |  Medical notes
Obesity surgery doubles in size
10 Nov 05 |  England
Buster Bloodvessel seriously ill
01 Feb 01 |  Entertainment


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