Page last updated at 12:38 GMT, Monday, 2 June 2008 13:38 UK

TV's Fern plays down gastric op

Fern Britton
Fern Britton has shed three stone since the band was fitted

TV presenter Fern Britton has told This Morning viewers she did not feel the need to "tell everybody" when she underwent stomach surgery.

The 50-year-old, whose dramatic weight-loss has been widely reported, underwent gastric banding in 2006.

Britton said she only decided to go public after a Sunday newspaper said they planned to run the story.

She joked: "If I have a face-lift or haemorrhoids or something, I will ring the Sunday papers straight away."

'Fattening up'

Britton said the decision to undergo the surgery was a personal one, and that only a handful of people knew about the operation.

She added that she had spoken very carefully about eating less and exercising more and what she said was "absolutely true".

Britton, who is married to TV chef Phil Vickery, also made light of the situation, quipping: "Please tell me we've got cake on the show because I need fattening up."

Gastric banding reduces the size of the stomach so that only small meals can be eaten, while still giving the impression of being full.

The procedure, which usually requires an overnight stay in hospital, is done under general anaesthetic and involves having an adjustable band placed around the upper part of the stomach to create a pouch.

Food is passed through a gap formed by the band into the rest of the stomach.

Britton has shed three stone since having the band fitted.

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