UK man weighing 297 kg undergoes `Sleeve Gastrectomy`

Last Updated: Nov 13, 2010, 00:00 AM IST

Pune: "I have seen and heard sniggers and nasty things. Now I hope it will be a thing of the past," said Zarchari Smith as he radiated an ear to ear smile on his bulky face.

Smith, a British national flew down to India to undergo `Sleeve Gastrectomy` procedure at a hospital here last week becoming the "heaviest patient operated in Asia" for an obesity surgery weighing 297 kg.

Turned away by many UK hospitals which expressed their inability to do the surgery as Smith had a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 80, putting him in high risk category, he decided to contact Laparo Obese centre at Ruby Hall clinic in Pune and planned the operation.

"Smith was a classic case of super obese patients who end
up showing co-morbid conditions in early age due to morbid
obesity. He used to suffer from heaviness in abdomen, severe
backache, hypertension, sleep apnoea and walking problems,"
said Dr Shashank Shah, who performed the surgery, in a media
interaction in the presence of the patient.

Shah who is also secretary, Obesity Surgery Society of
India (OSSI) said, "I am extremely happy that walking was made
possible for the heaviest person getting operated in Asia. His
recovery is also very fast as we have already seen a weight
reduction of 8 kg in just two days after the procedure."

One of the interesting elements in Smith`s case was
`Adulatory Anaesthesia` which meant he walked out of the
operation theatre on his own, Shah said.

Venting his feelings, Smith said, "As a child I was very
cheerful, friendly and happy-go-lucky kind of a person. But in
a span of last ten years my life had been disastrous as I was
an unhappy ,mentally disturbed person who had stopped
socialising (due to obesity)."

"Once you get labelled, you are labelled and therefore I
started staying within the comfort of my family. I was unable
to get insurance due to my weight problem and the biggest
nightmare I experienced was to resist shopping at places where
there was food all around."

The surgeon said the procedure followed in Smith`s case
involved removal of curvature of the stomach to arrest
secretion of hormone "Ghrelin" to reduce food craving and
stimulates pancreas in an anti-obesity action.

"He is expected to lose 180 kg within a period of two
years," he added.

PTI