A TEENAGER has lost more than nine stone after undergoing radical surgery to remove 80 per cent of her stomach reducing it to the size of a banana.

Abbie King, 19, underwent a gastric sleeve last year to drastically limit her food intake and make her feel full after eating tiny portions.

Now Abbie, who suffered from selective mutism as a child, a severe anxiety disorder where a person is unable to speak in social situations, says she feels like a different person.

Tipping the scales at 19st 5lbs at her heaviest, she now weighs 11 stone for her 5ft 8ins frame.

However she has now had to go under the knife for a tummy tuck after the surgery left her with half a stone of excess skin and will next year undergo further procedures to shape her body including breast surgery, which she is funding herself at a cost of more than £10,000.

Abbie, from Parkstone, said she began piling on weight at the age of six after taking medication for selective mutism.

“I had selective mutism which is a really severe form of shyness and I wouldn’t talk to anyone outside of the house.

“I’d always been big when I was younger. After I took medication for a year I got into the habit of grazing, and the habit sticks.

“I had very low self-esteem and no body confidence at all. Since I was about 10 I was picked on and that stayed in my mind. I tried every diet out there but to no success so this was the last option. As a teenager I wanted to go out and do things but I wasn’t comfortable.”

Aged 16, Abbie applied to have surgery and two years later, in June last year, she underwent the irreversible operation at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth following consultations and counselling. The gastric sleeve is a key hole procedure which involves cutting along the length of the stomach and removing about 80 per cent of it to leave a thin, banana shaped stomach. The larger part of the stomach is removed altogether.

Patients can only eat a small amount of food before feeling full and levels of the appetite stimulant hormone also fall decreasing appetite.

Abbie said: “For two weeks prior to the operation I was only allowed to drink milk to shrink the liver which was really hard then for three months after I could only eat three teaspoons of pureed food.

“I had further gallbladder complications and I had to go through emergency surgery.

“Once I lost it all, I didn’t take in the fact I’d have a lot of excess skin but since I had the operation to remove it five weeks ago I feel amazing.”

Abbie who has dropped six dresses from a size 22 to a size 10-12, added: “I have lost quite a few friends over my decision to have the operation. They didn’t understand and thought it was too extreme but I’m really happy I had the operation young. I didn’t want to be 30 with loads of health problems.

Abbie, who dreams of a career in medicine and wants to try scuba diving and get a helicopter flying licence, said: “I feel like I can live my life now and I can do things that just weren’t possible before. I am a totally different person.”

Mum Lynn said: “The consultant at the hospital told us that anyone who has a BMI above 35, no matter how many diets they try and even if they lose the weight, they’d never stay there and it always comes back one. The only way is surgery but Abbie’s was very drastic because it is irreversible so she cannot go back.

“People think weight loss surgery is an easy way out but it is the hardest option and I’m incredibly proud of her.”