Pakistani doctor becomes Internet star after weight loss surgery on Indian woman

Kaswar Klasra
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Mali Susan, 37, a Canadian national of Indian origin, lays comfortably on the bed, leaving the vast expanse of her abdomen exposed in preparation for an operation to be carried out by Pakistani surgeon Dr. Maaz ul Hassan.

The room lights are dim, the curtains are drawn, and the ceiling operation lights are switched on as Pakistan’s renowned, internationally-acclaimed surgeon starts operating Bariatric surgery on his patient.


Above the smooth white dome of the woman’s stomach — bloated from obesity and the carbon dioxide pumped inside her, hangs a high definition monitor showing her viscera in intimate detail.

The stomach has thick layers of fat while the liver resting chummily on top of the stomach, the spleen down below, a discoloured purple — all throbbing rhythmically.

Based in Lahore, Dr. Hassan has been performing surgery for 20 years. (Supplied)
Based in Lahore, Dr. Hassan has been performing surgery for 20 years. (Supplied)

Reciting Kalimat Tayyibah [a word of purity], Dr. Hassan gets started. Machines beep and buzz at once following his instructions as the cutting starts.

It takes him less than an hour to tease out the bisected portion of the tummy out of the body through an incision in the abdomen. The operation is a success. But still, she has to wait six months to shed 60 kilograms of weight.

In a telephone interview with Al Arabiya English, Dr. Hassan, confirmed that he successfully operated on Susan: “By the grace of God, the operation was successful, paving the way for Mali to lose 60 kilograms over next six months.”

Based in Lahore, Dr. Hassan has been working for 20 years. He’s a General Surgeon with specialties in Laparoscopic surgery, Hepatobiliary surgery and Bariatric Surgery.

Following a unsuccessful medical treatment in Mumbai five years ago, Susan arrived in Pakistan with her mother last month.

Dr Sobia Ali Hina said Dr. Hassan has “made us proud by successfully conducting Bariatric Surgery on a foreigner”. (Supplied)
Dr Sobia Ali Hina said Dr. Hassan has “made us proud by successfully conducting Bariatric Surgery on a foreigner”. (Supplied)

Weight loss surgery

She had already undergone surgery in Mumbai in 2013. However, that turnout to be a failed attempt as she could only shed 20-25 Kilogram – far below then she expected.

Advised by one of her friends, Susan came to Pakistan on December 29, 2018 to undergo another surgery in Lahore.

“I was very much worried following result of first surgery conducted six years ago in Mumbai. On the suggestion of my friend, I came to Lahore for a second surgery which a yielded great result,” Susan told Al Arabiya English.

Before her second surgery, Mali’s weight was recorded at 140kg, which was immediately reduced to 128kg. If all goes to plan, she will be able to loss approximately 60kg over the next six months.

Susan recovering after surgery. (Supplied)
Susan recovering after surgery. (Supplied)

Instant fame

News of Susan’s successful surgery by a Pakistani doctor spread across the country like wildfire. Pakistan’s local media ran breaking news under headline: “Pakistani doctor makes country proud by successfully conducting weight loss surgery on an Indian national.”

He quickly became an online sensation, with thousands sharing the stories of the operation on social media.

Pakistani doctor Sobia Ali Hina told Al Arabiya English that Dr. Hassan has “made us proud by successfully conducting Bariatric Surgery on a foreigner. He has improved country’s image across the globe.”

Mali was the seventh foreigner whom has undergone Bariatric Surgery at Dr. Hassan’s clinic. He had previously performed the operation on patients from had perform Australia, the UAE, Jordan, Yemen and Sri Lanka. “I have done 3,000 operations during last 20 years,” he said.

But this operation was particularly significant as it was first time that any Indian came to Pakistan for treatment. It’s usually the other way around, with hundreds of Pakistani citizens going to India for medical treatment each year.

Alarmed by the surge in obesity in Pakistan in recent years, authorities are in process of setting up a weight loss surgery unit at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad.

“A state-of-the-art metabolic and bariatric surgery department will offer a procedure that helps in averting the complications of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases due to obesity,” Dr. Waseem Khawaja told Al Arabiya English.

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