After reaching 1,102 pounds, Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty, an Egyptian woman whose obesity confined her to her bed for the past 20 years, underwent laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy surgery on March 9, reports
Since then, Eman has lost over 700 pounds in just two months, now weighing in at 389 pounds.
Eman traveled to Mumbai for pro-bono surgery after a doctor responded to her sister’s pleas for help on Twitter.
After a fundraising effort, she flew to the hospital for a sleeve gastrectomy, People reports.
While Eman's weight loss sounds like major success, you might be wondering whether it's actually healthy for someone to drop more than half their body weight in just two months?
Fatima Cody Stanford, M.D., M.P.H., instructor of medicine and pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and obesity medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, says that while she’s “very encouraged” by the amount of weight
Eman lost with the sleeve gastrectomy, there is always a concern with potential consequences from rapid weight loss. weight loss.
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Whenever someone quickly loses weight, there are potential complications like electrolyte imbalances, malnutrition, and gallstones, Stanford says. She adds that a person also has the potential for hair loss, menstrual irregularities, chipped nails or teeth, muscle wasting, excess skin, and bone loss.
Peter LePort, M.D., a bariatric surgeon and medical director of MemorialCare Center for Obesity at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, Calif., also says it’s very uncommon for someone to lose this much weight in such a short time. That's why it's important that someone undergoing this kind of extreme weight loss do so under a doctor’s care to ensure that they’re taking in the right amount of protein, vitamins, and minerals, he says.
Of course, every surgery comes with risks and potential side effects. Hemorrhaging or leaking from the sleeve are some of the more common risks, per Stanford. LePort says a patient can also experience blood clots, which can cause a pulmonary embolism.
Despite the risks, LePort says a severely obese patient is still better off having surgery if they’re not able to lose weight on their own due to the health risks associated with obesity.
However, a sleeve gastrectomy doesn’t ensure that a person will lose weight and keep it off. “If the patient doesn’t change their habits of how fast they eat and how much they’re eating at one meal, they will stretch the sleeve out and start to regain weight,” LePort says.
Luckily, Eman's recovery has been smooth so far. “
The team of doctors at Saifee Hospital has done a fabulous job and her recovery has been unprecedented,” the Save Eman Cause announced in a press release to People. “She is stable and all parameters are under control.
She will continue to need neurological rehabilitation and physiotherapy.” (Eman suffered a stroke just two years ago that impaired her ability to speak and move.)
Eman is now headed for the United Arab Emirates, where she’ll continue rehabilitation closer to her family in Egypt.