​I Lost My Weight to Gain My Life Back​​​​

Zafar Barki had become rapidly overweight in his twenties and thirties, due to overeating and lack of exercise. It started off as just a few pounds here and there, but by the time Zafar was a father to two children, his body weight had become a cause for concern. He also started to experience pain in his joints, and was unable to get a good night’s rest. This left him tired and exhausted throughout the day. With time, he also developed serious medical conditions including Diabetes and High Blood Pressure

Zafar knew this was alarming and he needed to gain control of the situation. He knew his excess weight had made him obese​, and was the reason for his multiple health issues. Not only that, it was having an adverse impact on the quality of life of his children as well, with whom he could not spend sufficient time, due to his exhaustion and lack of physical stamina. He knew he had to take action and get professional help for his condition.

With this in mind, Zafar set appointments to meet up with consultants from the Gastrointestinal and Surgery Service Line at The Aga Khan University Hospital. After preliminary assessments and diagnostic tests, Zafar’s consultant, Dr Amir Shariff, Assistant Professor of Surgery (Advanced Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgery), advised him that for successful treatment of obesity, Zafar would need to commit to a healthier lifestyle involving better food choices and exercise. He was asked to lower his calorie intake according to the guidelines of a comprehensive weight loss program and to exercise regularly.

Zafar committed to the weight loss program, and started to lose weight. However, this was not enough for him to regain his health. After reviewing his results, Dr Amir Shariff recommended Bariatric Surgery as an option. There are four types of bariatric procedures and the type that was recommended, and chosen after mutual discussions between Zafar and Dr Amir, was the Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy. This procedure involves removal of a large part of the stomach, only leaving a narrow gastric tube or "sleeve", limiting the amount of food intake by an individual.

Zafar’s surgery took several hours, after which he had to stay at the hospital for a few days for post-op care. The operation helped modify his body in a way that a controlled diet alone cannot. His stomach was restructured so it could only hold a limited amount of food at a time, enabling him to feel full, after only eating a little. 

After years of struggling to lose the extra kilos, Zafar finally saw his weight reducing gradually. His health problems, too, melted away with the fat. With a single operation, he rid himself of not only obesity but also the progression towards deteriorating health due to diabetes and high blood pressure.

Zafar now follows an active lifestyle and engages in physical activities with his children. He is thankful to the medical team at The Aga Khan University Hospital for their medical expertise and skills, which helped him lose weight, and gain his life back.​​​​