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Success story: Borivali resident Annie Jaison with bariatric surgeon Dr. Sanjay Borude (left) and Dr. Ramesh Bharmal, director of major civic hospitals, on Friday.

Civic body has appointed private sector doctors to perform surgeries for poor patients in municipal hospitals; 17-year-old weighed 142 kg owing to genetic disorder

A teenager from Borivali has become the first beneficiary of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) initiative to rope in private sector doctors to perform surgeries for poor patients in civic-run hospitals.

Annie Jaison, a State-level weightlifter who weighed 142 kg, underwent surgery at Sion Hospital last week. The Class XII student of Don Bosco College weighed 4.4 kg at birth and her weight began increasing rapidly. When she turned three, a surgery was performed on her outward bending knees. At 11, she weighed 111 kg.

Surgery only option

“Her eating habits were never abnormal. She always ate meals in average quantities,” said Rosemary, Annie’s mother. Later, Annie’s parents learnt that she was suffering from a rare genetic disorder. She was advised by doctors to undergo bariatric surgery because of her co-morbid conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea, thyroid disorder, joint pain and insulin resistance. Annie’s father, Jaison, an office superintendent with the Railways, could not afford the surgery in a private hospital. “We were referred to Sion Hospital as the railway hospital did not have the facility,” he said.

The surgery was carried out by Dr. Sanjay Borude, a bariatric surgeon attached to Breach Candy Hospital and H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and one of the several doctors appointed as professor emeritus as part of the BMC’s initiative. He was keen to offer his services as Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College, which is attached to Sion Hospital, is his alma mater. Dr. Borude carried his own equipment for the surgery and availed of only the operation theatre and table at Sion Hospital.

No surgeon fee charged

Dr. Borude said, “We performed an extended gastric bypass surgery as the patient had endogenous obesity triggered by MC4R gene mutation, which is very rare and occurs in one in two lakh children.” He said the procedure involved bypassing the initial segment of the small intestine so that food directly enters the middle section. Five incisions of less than one centimetre each were made on Annie’s abdomen.

The surgery would have cost between ₹3.5 and ₹5 lakh in a private hospital, but Annie’s family had to spend only ₹2 lakh to cover the cost of consumables such as medicines. No surgeon fee was charged.

Annie, who turned 17 on Thursday, is hopeful she will be able to walk and run around soon. She said, “Fortunately, I have always been mobile despite the weight. But I can do so much more.”

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