'World's heaviest woman' to fly to India for surgery

December 9, 2016

An Egyptian who is believed to be the world's heaviest woman is to fly to India for weight reduction surgery after the country's foreign minister personally intervened to secure her a visa.

Indian surgeon Muffazal Lakdawala had offered to carry out the procedure free of charge after hearing about Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty, who weighs around 500 kilogrammes (1,100 pounds).

But her request for a visa was initially rejected, prompting Lakdawala to tweet a request for help to India's foreign minister Sushma Swaraj.

"She is a bundle of diseases. She needs surgery urgently," the surgeon said of Abd El Aty, 36, who is expected to fly to the western city of Mumbai next week for the procedure.

"Her sister said she hasn't left her room in 25 years. I just thought 'Oh my god, I have to help. I'll do it pro bono, no problem'."

Lakdawala said he was astonished when Swaraj, who is herself ill in hospital awaiting a , replied to his plea within hours.

Abd El Aty's sister had approached him about two months ago, saying her sister 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 to swell, leaving her almost immobile.

Later she suffered a stroke and was rendered bedridden, triggering a series of ailments including diabetes, , hypertension and .

Lakdawala, who has operated on government ministers in the past, said he was nervous but would do all he could to make Abd El Aty comfortable.

"I would be lying if I said I was 100 percent confident. There are many challenges, but I will try my level best to help her," he told AFP by phone.

Abd El Aty would need a couple of months in post-surgery care in India before heading back home in Egypt, he said.

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

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

India is a key destination for medical tourists because it offers quality services at a fraction of the cost of western countries and no waiting lists.

Explore further: India moves to ban booming commercial surrogacy business

Related Stories

India moves to ban booming commercial surrogacy business

August 24, 2016
India's government Wednesday approved plans to ban the booming commercial surrogacy industry, a move that would block thousands of foreign couples who flock to centres to have a baby.

India's poor fear 'rent-a-womb' industry shut down

September 19, 2016
At a hostel for dozens of pregnant women, impoverished widow Sharmila Mackwan weighs up her decision to carry twins for another couple—her only ticket out of poverty—as the government moves to close India's multi-million ...

'Botched' India cataract surgery leaves 15 with sight loss

December 1, 2015
At least 15 people in northern India have lost the sight in one eye after having "botched" cataract surgery, local officials told AFP Tuesday.

Cutting-edge kidney transplant a first: surgeons

August 19, 2015
A sister-to-sister kidney transplant in France reported Wednesday is the first to combine robotics, vaginal access and the donated organ's immediate implant after removal, according to the surgeons.

Doctors in India remove 40 knives from man's stomach (Update)

August 23, 2016
Doctors in northern India have surgically removed 40 knives from the stomach of a man who had swallowed them over the past two months, one of the physicians said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Where you live may influence whether you are overweight, study finds

January 23, 2018
The old real estate adage of "location, location, location" may also apply to obesity.

Evening hours may pose higher risk for overeating, especially when under stress, study finds

January 16, 2018
Experiments with a small group of overweight men and women have added to evidence that "hunger hormone" levels rise and "satiety (or fullness) hormone" levels decrease in the evening. The findings also suggest that stress ...

Bariatric surgery prolongs lifespan in obese

January 16, 2018
Obese, middle-age men and women who had bariatric surgery have half the death rate of those who had traditional medical treatment over a 10-year period, reports a study that answers questions about the long-term risk of the ...

Sugar-sweetened drinks linked to overweight and obesity in children, adults: Analysis of new studies

December 23, 2017
A new review of the latest evidence on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs)- which includes 30 new studies published between 2013 and 2015 (and none of them industry sponsored) - concludes that SSB consumption is associated with ...

As income rises, women get slimmer—but not men

December 21, 2017
(HealthDay)—A comprehensive survey on the widening American waistline finds that as paychecks get bigger, women's average weight tends to drop.

Policy and early intervention can curb obesity rates

December 18, 2017
More information and emphasis on dietary lifestyle changes that prevent obesity, and its comorbidities, have not reduced the rise in obesity in U.S. adults and adolescents, according to a recent study in the New England Journal ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.