The Egyptian woman, estimated to be the heaviest globally, underwent her first bariatric surgery at Saifee Hospital in Mumbai in a process termed laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. The procedure involves reducing the stomach by 75 per cent and leaving behind a narrow “sleeve” of the stomach for digesting food.
“She is now on oral fluids and accepting them well. The future course of action for the medical team working on her will be to correct all her associated medical problems, and to get her fit enough to fly back to Egypt as soon as possible,” a spokesperson said.
Weighing an estimated 500 kgs, Eman (36) was flown to Mumbai in a special cargo aircraft in February to undergo medical treatment for weight reduction. Her body mass index then was 252, ten times higher than normal mark. She measured 151 cms in width while the hospital’s lift was only 141 cms wide, making it impossible to carry her to an operation theatre.
In the last month, doctors put Eman on a high protein and fibre diet to reduce water retention in her body. Water accounted for 70 to 100 kgs of her total weight. Since her arrival, she has lost 120 kgs due to strict 1200-calorie per day diet doctors kept her on.
On Tuesday, doctors conducted the first bariatric procedure on Eman, although the amount of weight reduced is yet to be assessed. “We will attempt to reduce at least 200 kgs in the first six months,” Dr Muffazal Lakdawala, bariatric surgeon treating the Alexandria based woman, said.
Doctors are also awaiting Eman’s genetic test results to understand if a genetic disorder might be responsible for obesity. There is no history of obesity in her family, inclining the doctors to suspect a genetic mutation may be responsible for the uncontrolled weight gain. In last 25 years, Eman was unable to move out of her house. For last two years she was restricted to her bed due to paralysis attack and complete loss of mobility.
According to doctors, she was put on anaesthesia and operated upon in an over two hour surgery. “The surgery went uneventful,” the spokesperson said. She is currently recuperating in post-operative care.
October 2016: Doctors in Mumbai started studying Eman’s medical condition after her sister Shaimaa approached them for treatment
December 2016: External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj aided in facilitating medical visa for Eman to visit India
February 10: Eman was placed in a special bed crafted by Egyptian artisans, lifted using a crane and placed in special cargo plane
February 11: Eman arrived in Mumbai at 4 am and reached Saifee Hospital in an hour and half truck ride
By February end: Eman had lost over 50 kgs
By March 7: She had lost over 120 kgs. She underwent surgery on Tuesday.