Lightness of being for 200 kg Canadian after Indian surgery

January 16th, 2009 - 1:39 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS) Thirty-year-old Brian Andrew Adair has a spring in his step. The Canadian, a ’super morbid obese’ in medical parlance, is on his way to shedding more than half his 200 kg weight - thanks to surgery performed in India.And he won’t lose just his weight but also his hunger pangs. He is now confident he will not be in danger of attracting diseases connected with his weight like diabetes and cardiovascular ailments.

“I feel great and I am very happy,” Adair told IANS as he was discharged from the Artemis Health Institute in suburban Gurgaon.

What had really worried him was his body mass index (BMI), the most common measure of obesity, which was extraordinarily high at 85. The normal is 25.

“As I suffered from severe obesity, it was hindering my personal life. My doctor also warned me that I am at risk of getting multiple health problems,” said Adair, who works as a civil contractor.

“I was told to go through weight-reducing surgery. But I found that it would take another two years to undergo surgery in Canada because of the long waiting list.”

In India, he found the success rate of sleeve gastrectomy surgery in Artemis high and contacted Deep Goel, head of its Minimal Invasive and Bariatric Surgery.

He came to the country Jan 8 and two days later underwent a three-hour-ong surgery. Doctors were ready to discharge him Jan 12, but he insisted on staying back another day.

One reason Adair chose the Indian hospital was that it cost him less. “It was much cheaper as compared to the West. He just spent Rs.300,000 here,” his doctor added.

The weight-loss surgery he underwent involves about 60-70 percent of a patient’s stomach being removed laparoscopically, leaving a cylindrical or sleeve shaped stomach. This drastically reduces the size of the stomach without hindering its function.

For safety, the stomach is stapled and a special protective covering is used to prevent any kind of leakage.

Goel said: “The new stomach that we have created will continue to function normally. One of the greatest advantages of this surgery is that we remove the majority of the stomach, which also results in eliminating hunger stimulating hormones produced within the stomach.”

Happily announcing that he has “no appetite”, Adair said he is on a liquid diet for a few days and is surprised with the quick recovery.

Adair is now planning a holiday. “Before heading home, I intend to holiday. In less than 24 hours, my life has been transformed. I did not know how to get out of this vicious cycle of eating and weight gain.”

Though he had no health-related problems, he did suffer from joint and back problems.

Goel said it would take Adair anything between 12 and 14 months to lose all the excess fat. “His stomach will now take only 30 or 40 ml food and even if he eats more he will vomit. This will also ensure that he loses fat,” he said.

Noting that the surgery has become quite common among the young, especially women, the doctor said Adair was earlier at the risk of getting diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and cancers of the kidney, rectum and colon.

“He now has to just stay active and do some exercises,” said Goel.

Adair now looks to a better future when he will weigh only 80 or 90 kg. “I would be able to socialise and have a better personal life,” said Adair, who will be leaving India on Jan 18 after visiting Agra and doing some shopping.

(Kavita Bajeli-Datt can be contacted at kavita.d@ians.in)

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