World's fattest man is now seeking plastic surgery

January 16, 2013

Dramatic weight loss leads to skin that is dramatically loose.
Dramatic weight loss leads to skin that is dramatically loose.

 

Paul Mason was once called the world's fattest man. This 51-year-old former postman from Ipswich, England, has slimmed down from 980 pounds to 350 pounds, losing more than two-thirds of his weight after undergoing gastric bypass surgery three years ago.

Now he has new problems. This weight loss has left him with huge folds of excess skin around his stomach, arms and legs. He is in desperate need of plastic surgery to remove his excess skin.

Dramatic weight loss leads to skin that you can describe as dramatically loose. A Dallas plastic surgery professor says that “the skin is so damaged from being overstretched that it loses its elasticity. It's like letting all of the air out of balloon -- it collapses and wrinkles."

ABC News, January 4th, 2013, reports that Mason has to use a wheelchair because his excess skin hampers his ability to walk. The Dallas professor estimates that Mason has as much as 50 pounds of baggy skin around the stomach and 75 pounds of excess skin overall, affecting his joints and balance and causing problems such as rashes and fungal infections. Even worse, Mason complains that the excess weight causes the skin to tear and split.

In spite of Mason's problems, the British National Health Service says that Mason's surgery must wait until Mason's weight is stable for two years, which is actually standard for this procedure. The surgery he needs, pannusectomy, is considered reconstructive.

A Miami plastic surgeon says you have to lift the skin and make an incision to free up excess tissue and cut the skin out. With so much flabby stretched-out skin the surgeon would actually have to use a crane or other special piece of equipment to hoist the skin out of the way. For Mason, this would probably require several procedures and a rough recovery with six months before all the swelling goes down.

The irony is that patients like this are frequently malnourished after their dramatic weight loss and have other health problems like diabetes. Mason's obesity was the result of an eating disorder. The best advice is to do everything possible to deal with an eating disorder before it gets out of control.

 


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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