Paul Mason, the former world’s fattest man, has lost 644 pounds after being fitted with a gastric band. But there’s one problem: The Brit’s sudden weight loss has left him with 112 pounds of excess skin, drooping from his limbs like pizza dough.
Mason, who weighed 980 pounds before surgery, described his excess skin as “horrendous.” While speaking to Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on ITV1’s This Morning, he gave an account of how he feels about his depressing predicament:
It hurts, it weighs in excess of eight stone, it’s horrendous, especially the bit around the middle here. Because of the weight of it, when I do mobilize, it splits. It splits underneath and at the side of my tummy.As you can see I need some skin removed. It won’t go away. It doesn’t matter how much I exercise. It weighs in excess of, if you don’t mind me saying, Holly here.
The government healthcare body NHS treated Mason with gastric surgery in the past and has spent more than $1 million total on his lifetime care, but he now needs to go back to the well for an apronectomy.
But NHS chiefs are balking at paying for his skin-slicing surgery. They demand that he that he must maintain a current weight of 24 stone (336 pounds) until at least 2015. That’s two more years of carrying around a person’s worth of excess skin. A
NHS gave a statement to The Sun on the matter:
Before a patient has an operation it’s important to take a balanced decision that it’s in the best interests of that patient in cases like this, NHS Suffulk has a panel of people including clinicians who decide whether the patient should have such an operation. The patient must have a stable weight before he or she is considered.
Paul responded to the NHS with these words:
I can see where they are coming from but no there isn’t going to be any seesaw effect. The only trouble is it’s fair enough them saying that, but if they do the apronectomy now and then further down the road the other surgery I need on my legs and my arms, then I’m saving them money.
If performed privately though, this apronectomy could cost Mason upwards of $48,000.