By Bilal Kuchay
A seven year and nine-month-old Pakistani boy, who piled up almost 19 stones due to his constant cravings for food, has undergone a gastric sleeve surgery to shed half of his weight within one year.
Muhammad Yousuf from Kasur in Punjab province stands 134 cm tall but weighs four times more than children of his age.
The young boy underwent a five-hour long operation last week after doctors assured his parents that within next one year he would lose half his weight.
The extensive surgery, which was performed by Dr Maaz Ul Hassan at Lahore’s Hameed Latif Hospital, saw a major portion of Yousuf’s stomach removed.
The two-hour-long surgery aimed to curb the boy’s appetite, making him feel fuller for longer.
Yousuf whose daily diet included 10 chapattis, two litres of milk, three plates of rice apart from chocolates, ice creams and fruits, will now be put on a liquid diet for six weeks.
Dr Maaz said: “We performed the laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy also called gastric sleeve surgery, which involves surgically narrowing the stomach.
“I am expecting that Yousuf will shed almost half of his weight within a year.”
Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is a non-reversible procedure. It involves removing 75 percent of the stomach and What’s left is a tubular pouch shaped like a banana.
With less space to hold food, the patient will consequently consume fewer calories.
Born to parents Faisal Nadeem, 37, and Rabia Faisal , 31, Yousuf was quite a normal kid till the age of three months.
Rabia said: “Yousuf’s weight at the time of birth was only 3.5 pounds. He was quite normal like his other siblings.
“But, he suddenly started gaining weight after the age of three months.
“We took him to our family doctor who diagnosed for the first time that his weight is increasing at an abnormal rate.
“At the age of four, Yousuf was weighing an alarming 75 kg.”
Prior to his surgery, Yousuf was living on a daily diet of chapattis, rice, eggs, milk, fruits, chocolate and ice creams.
Failing to realise the seriousness of their son’s condition, Yousuf’s parents continued to feed their son whatever he asked for.
His mother said: “We didn’t control how much we should feed him. We kept feeding him because we love him very much.
“He was suffering from constant bouts of hunger and would chomp down whatever he would find in the kitchen or fridge. Everyday he would eat 10 chapattis, two litres of milk, three plates of rice apart from chocolates, ice creams and fruits.
“We used to feed him whatever he will ask for as within an hour after he eats he would complain of feeling hungry.”
“But when we saw him getting out of breath just walking for few minutes, we were very worried.
“So, we consulted several doctors in Kasur and we were advised by many to meet Dr Maaz, who is a specialist in such cases.
“The surgery was costing us over £3500 but Dr Maaz was kind enough and didn’t charge us any fee.
“We had to pay only the hospital charges and the medicines, which was affordable for us.”
Yousuf’s parents claimed due to his obesity, many schools in their place refused to give him admission.
Rabia said: “It was very painful to see school authorities not giving our child admission because of his weight.
“I used to ask the school authorities that why are they so concerned about his weight. Have you teach him or lift on your backs.”
The parents are now hoping that everything goes well post surgery.
“We don’t want to see our son in any pain. We want to see him play and live like normal kids.”