500-kg woman lands in Mumbai for surgery

500-kg woman lands in Mumbai for surgery
Eman Ahmed, one of the heaviest women in the world, landed in Mumbai on Saturday and was admitted to Saifee Hospital, where she will undergo a bariatric surgery.

She was lifted, along with the bed on which she laid while travelling, with the help of a crane.

The 36-year-old, who hails from Alexandria in Egypt, weighs over 500 kg. This is the first time that she has stepped out of her house in 25 years. Dr Muffazal Lakdawala, laparoscopic and bariatric surgeon at Saifee Hospital, will oversee the weight reduction surgery.

Last month, he had flown to  Egypt to convince Eman’s family to do the surgery in Mumbai. Eman and her sister Shaimaa Ahmed travelled to India on an EgyptAir flight, accompanied by Dr Aparna Govil Bhasker, advanced laparoscopic and bariatric surgeon at the Center for Obesity and Diabetes Surgery and head of department of bariatric surgery at Saifee Hospital, and Kamlesh Bohra, senior intensivist, department of critical and intensive care at Saifee Hospital.

A team of doctors was in Egypt for the past 10 days to optimise the conditions for her travel.They constantly monitored her blood pressure and heart conditions. Blood thinners were given to sustain her through the flight.

A special bed had been made by local Egyptian artisans in accordance with the safety precautions laid down by the airlines.

The flight was also furnished with all equipment required in case of an emergency, such as a portable ventilator and defibrillator, oxygen cylinder, intubation laryngoscope and safety drugs.

Once the aircraft landed, Eman was transported in a fully equipped truck, followed by an ambulance and police escort to Saifee Hospital, where a special room was created for her.

“There is always a risk involved when transporting a patient like Eman, who weighs about 500 kg, and has not moved or left the house for the past 25 years. We have taken all precautions possible to ensure that Eman’s journey to India was accomplished without any incident,” Dr Lakdawala said.

Multiple ailments

Eman suffers from severe lymphedema (swelling caused by retention of excess fluid in the body). She has already suffered a stroke, resulting in the paralysis of her right arm and leg.

She cannot speak coherently, has Type-2 diabetes, hypertension, hypothyroidism, a severe obstructive and restrictive lung disease, gout and is at a very high risk of pulmonary embolism (clotting of the blood in the lungs). 

A team of doctors, including an endocrinologist, cardiologist, dietitian, anaesthesiologist, neurologist and nephrologist, has been assembled to look after Eman.

She will undergo a series of tests over the next few days before doctors proceed with the surgery.
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