Doctors can't treat obese man for elephantiasis until he loses 100kg, Latest Others News - The New Paper

Doctors can't treat obese man for elephantiasis until he loses 100kg

This article is more than 12 months old

His right leg has more than doubled its size, but doctors cannot treat it because he is too fat.

Mr Ahmad Khalid Salleh, who weighs a whopping 241kg, needs to lose weight before doctors can operate on him safely, said Dr Pok Eng Hong.

The consultant surgeon at Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) in Malaysia said: "Ahmad Khalid needs to reduce more than 100kg before we can treat his leg."

The obese Malaysian man is suffering from elephantiasis, a parasitic infection that causes extreme swelling.

Address his weight

But before doctors can treat the problem, they will first need to address his weight.

Conventional stomach bypass, which would help reduce food intake, has been deemed too risky for the 39-year-old man.

So doctors have decided to carry out a mini-gastric bypass on Jan 9.

"We will create a small tube in the stomach to reduce food intake. The food will go straight into the small bowels," said Dr Pok.

But this means that Mr Ahmad Khalid will have to follow a special diet and take multivitamins for the rest of his life as his food intake and nutrition would be limited after the bypass.

If patients adhere to the diet and exercise programme, they could be at close to their ideal weight within a year and a half, said the doctor.

Difficulty walking

Mr Ahmad Khalid's trouble began two months after a jungle trek in 2009.

He had fever for a month and his leg began to swell, making it difficult for him to walk. 

He has had to quit his job as a telecommunications salesman due to his condition.

Mr Ahmad Khalid, who is receiving aid from the Subang Jaya Zakat Centre, says he will need RM10,000 (S$3,800) for the surgery.

It has been reported that prior to this, no hospital in the country had wanted to take up Mr Ahmad Khalid's case.

Source: The Star