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Surgery to remove man’s excess skin exceeds expectations

Thanks to three doctors with ties to Pittsburgh and a complex surgery, a man who once was one of the heaviest in the world shed 48 more particularly stubborn pounds Tuesday. “The surgery exceeded our expectations,” said lead surgeon Jennifer Capla. The removal of a large mass of skin from his right leg “should give him the ability to walk,” she said.

Thanks to three doctors with ties to Pittsburgh and a complex surgery, a man who once was one of the heaviest in the world shed 48 more particularly stubborn pounds Tuesday.

Paul Mason, 54, once weighed more than 980 pounds. He lost about 650 pounds after having gastric bypass surgery five years ago, but suffered frequent infections and mobility problems because of about 100 pounds of loose skin that remained. The surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, lasting nine and a half hours and involving about 8 feet of incisions, removed 48 pounds of excess skin from his legs and abdomen.  “The surgery exceeded our expectations,” said lead surgeon Jennifer Capla. The removal of a large mass of skin from his right leg “should give him the ability to walk,” she said.

Dr. Capla told Mr. Mason that if he could get to the U.S., she would marshal the resources to help him. Other doctors, such as J. Peter Rubin, chairman of the department of plastic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC, volunteered their services.

Dr. Capla was a fellow at the Life After Weight Loss surgical body contouring program founded by Dr. Rubin at UPMC, as was Joseph Michaels, another doctor on the team that performed Mr. Mason’s surgery.

Read full article on the Pittsburgh Post Gazette