MUMBAI: After facing ridicule from passersby for years for her 132kg frame, a 30-year-old police constable underwent a weight-loss surgery at a city hospital on Tuesday.
Rupali Kadam, who works in a police station in Borivli, said she was under severe depression due to daily taunts. “I was in traffic until a few years back and am now with M H B police station in Borivli, but at both postings, I had to listen to heart-breaking comments made by people passing by in vehicles.”
She was 65kg a decade ago but started ballooning rapidly after moving to Mumbai, mainly because of fast food. The operation, subsidized by both bariatric surgeon Dr Muffazal Lakdawala and Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital, Girgaum, was carried out on Tuesday.
Dahisar resident Kadam was discharged late on Wednesday so that she could celebrate her wedding anniversary which falls on Valentine’s Day with her husband and two children.
Kadam stumbled upon the weight-loss surgery option by chance. She had taken an accused for tests to the police hospital in Nagpada when she saw a newly inaugurated obesity clinic run by Dr Lakdawala.
Kadam had hypertension, hypothyroid and her legs would swell up. As her body mass index (BMI) was 47.5 and she had failed to lose weight with other alternatives, she was found eligible for bariatric surgery.
“She, however, had very little money for such a surgery,” said the doctor. He spoke to officials at the hospital.
“As the patient has restricted source of funding, the hospital has supported Kadam,” said Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital CEO Dr Tarang Gianchandani. Dr Lakdawala performed a specialized bariatric surgery called the Banded Roux en Y Gastric Bypass surgery so that Kadam will steadily lose weight over the next six months.
Rupali Kadam has one aim now: To be efficient at her job. “I feel I have been given a second chance to be a policewoman and I plan to observe every guideline the doctor suggests.”
“As policewomen have to be on their toes throughout the day, the surgery will change Kadam’s life,” said the doctors. Kadam, who had to pay Rs 50,000 for a surgery that costs 10 times more, couldn’t avail of the special police health scheme or health insurance, as bariatric surgery is viewed as cosmetic. Doctors, though, say it can reduce the severity of hypertension and diabetes, and should thus be viewed as life-saving.