Surgery 'lightens' up autorickshaw wallah's life

When his immense 140-kg form made it difficult for him to drive his autorickshaw or find a willing bride, Trivikram Saitwal opted for bariatric surgery; a fortnight after the procedure, he is already 10 kgs lighter 

Even a month back, rickshaw puller Trivikram Saitwal's weight would make it an arduous task for him to even start up his vehicle, which was his sole source of livelihood. To add to his misery, no girl was prepared to marry him.

Less than a fortnight after he underwent bariatric surgery, the 36-year-old has already lost 10 kilos, and things the dark clouds seem to have 'lightened' up as well.

Wheels are moving! Autorickshaw driver Trivikram Saitwal is in search
of a suitable bride for himself. PIC/SAMEER MARKANDE

Satwal, who earlier weighed a mammoth 140 kg, said, "I started piling on the kilos from Std IV, after my grandmother administered some injections to make me put on weight, fearing that I was too thin. I wasn't a meritorious student, and gave up academic pursuits to start driving a rickshaw. But my weight started giving me trouble," said Saitwal, adding that obesity had led to a whole host of other health problems as well. "Everything other than my heart is diseased," he added.

It was not just his professional life that took a beating because of his obesity -- Saitwal wanted to wed, but found it difficult to find a bride who would be willing to marry him.

"All the prospective brides would reject me because of my weight. Some would say that I might suffer a sudden heart attack and meet an untimely death. I had to find a way to get rid of all the excess fat in my body, and when a friend recommended bariatric surgery, I decided to opt for it," he said.

Saitwal soon started scouting for doctors, and was finally operated upon at the Mulund based Aastha Health Care.

Dr Manish Motwani, laparoscopic weight loss surgeon said, "The patient was diabetic, and also suffered from asthma. His heavy body was hampering his professional and matrimonial aspirations. Thus we decided to operate on him. Obesity can also lead to infertility and erectile dysfunction."

Explaining the surgery, Dr Motwani said, "As he had deeply embedded layers of fat enveloping his liver, the surgery was difficult and challenging. We had to put the punched five small holes in the stomach, so that our instruments could reach in. A part of the stomach was then stapled off and removed, which reduced the stomach to one-tenth of its original size. This also helped reduce the subject's hunger."

Saitwal was discharged from the hospital on September 14, and a week later, he resumed driving his auto rickshaw in the evenings.

"The surgery cost Rs 3 lakh -- I had to drain all my savings, and in addition to that I had to borrow money from my elder sisters. I am expected to reach some 80 kgs. Once I lose the weight, I will drive rickshaw for extra hours and earn back all the money. I hope to return the money to my sisters and save some from my marriage as well -- as soon as I become thin, I will surely find a
suitable bride for myself," he concluded.



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