Egyptian national Eman Ahmed, in Mumbai for a weight-reduction surgery, is on the road to a slow weight loss with doctors saying the 36-year-old can now sit up by herself with a little help and can easily move her left hand. Physiotherapy sessions for strengthening her limbs to improve mobility are on.
Eman suffered a paralysis attack before hospitalisation, which caused her to lose mobility in her right hand and legs. Following a period of two years when she remained bed-bound, her feet turned inwards and her thighs have grown faster than her legs, creating a disproportionate balance. According to doctors, her legs have also thinned in comparison to her thighs, which will make walking difficult.
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Eman can currently move her left hand and has a little mobility in her right hand. She has already lost over 120 kg and doctors expect her to shed another 100 kg in the coming months.
Nutritionist Carlyne Remedios has put Eman on a high-protein liquid diet mixed with soyamilk through a feeding tube. She receives 200 ml feeds every two hours from 6 am until midnight. Her current 1,750-calorie-per-day diet, doctors claim, is completely opposite from the chicken sandwiches and custard she would eat in Egypt as meals.
Until last week, Eman weighed 378 kg. It is estimated she weighed over 500 kg when she was flown in a special cargo carrier from Egypt to Mumbai on February 11.
Saifee Hospital is still waiting for the results of the gene tests to ascertain her future treatment. According to Zoya Brar, from Core Diagnositics, the genetic mutations, if any, can show whether her obesity was caused by any of the known common monogenic disorders.
Her second surgery is scheduled after a gap of at least a year to prevent risk factors. According to experts, bariatric surgeries in cases where a patient’s weight may exceed 200 kg have infection risk post surgery, either in the stomach or intestine, or chances of internal bleeding. There are also bowel obstruction.
Doctors treating Eman claim she has recuperated well from the first surgery and continues to remain under strict observation. The laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy conducted on her last week reduced her stomach size by two-thirds.
Such patients also bear the risk of acute haemorrhage. A high-protein diet becomes necessary to maintain constant weight loss, although, in certain situations, a patient may regain weight after a few months of surgery. “We are taking each step slowly as she also has other co-morbidities such as diabetes, hypertension and kidney problems,” said bariatric surgeon Dr Mufazzal Ladkawala.