'World's heaviest woman' has surgery in India, loses 100kg

Egyptian Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty lies in a hospital bed at The Saifee Hospital in Mumbai on March 8 after the operation.
Egyptian Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty lies in a hospital bed at The Saifee Hospital in Mumbai on March 8 after the operation. PHOTO: AFP/SAIFEE HOSPITAL

MUMBAI (AFP) - Indian doctors said on Thursday (March 9) that an Egyptian who is believed to be the world's heaviest woman had successfully undergone weight-loss surgery after losing over 100kg.

Ms Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty, who previously weighed around 500kg, had not left her house in Egypt in over two decades until arriving in Mumbai last month for bariatric surgery.

Bariatric surgery is a stomach-shrinking bypass procedure carried out on those who want to lose excessive weight.

"We are happy to inform all well-wishers that the medical team of Saifee Hospital has successfully performed the surgery on Eman Ahmed," said a statement.

"Eman successfully underwent a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy on March 7, 2017, at Saifee Hospital. She had an uneventful surgery and anaesthesia course.

"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, to get her fit enough to fly back to Egypt as soon as possible," it added.

A spokesman for Dr Muffazal Lakdawala, who is leading Ms Abd El Aty's treatment, said the 37-year-old Egyptian's weight had been brought to below 400kg since she arrived in Mumbai in early February.

"Eman has lost over 100kg and has been shedding weight gradually on a daily basis with all the treatment and support," she told AFP.

The Egyptian is still believed to be the world's heaviest woman ahead of American Pauline Potter who the Guinness Book of World Records recorded at 293kg in July last year.

Ms Abd El Aty, who is from the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, was flown to India's commercial capital in a specially modified Airbus on Feb 11 for treatment.

Her sister had approached Dr Lakdawala, a specialist weight-loss surgeon, in October, saying Ms Abd El Aty needed urgent medical attention.

Her family told the doctor that as a child, she was diagnosed with elephantiasis, a condition that causes the limbs and other body parts to swell, leaving her almost immobile.

Ms Abd El Aty has suffered a stroke and faced a series of other serious ailments owing to her weight, including diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension and sleep deprivation.

Her request for an Indian visa was initially denied, but she was granted passage after tweeting a plea for help directly to India's Foreign Minister, who intervened.

Ms Abd El Aty had a long wait as no airlines were willing to fly her due to her health complications.

Dr Lakdawala's team put her on a special liquid diet when she arrived in India to get her weight down to a level low enough for them to be able to operate.

They say she is now able to sit up and is expected to spend several months being monitored and receiving physiotherapy to exercise her muscles before returning to Egypt.

Bariatric surgery is increasingly common in India, which has a growing problem with obesity, particularly in urban areas.

India is a major destination for medical tourists seeking quality services and no waiting lists at a fraction of the cost of Western countries.