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Onetime 'world's heaviest man' has second surgery in Mexico

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Juan Pedro Franco, 33, who once weighed in at a stunning 595kg - about the same as a male polar bear - began a weight-loss programme a year ago, bringing his current weight to 366kg.

[MEXICO CITY] A Mexican once certified as the heaviest man in the world is recovering from a second stomach-reduction surgery that doctors hope will help him shed more than 200kg, the medical centre treating him reported on Thursday.

Juan Pedro Franco, 33, who once weighed in at a stunning 595kg - about the same as a male polar bear - began a weight-loss programme a year ago, bringing his current weight to 366kg.

After the operation Wednesday in the western city of Zapopan, Mr Franco hopes to get down to a less-extreme 120kg, said a statement from Gastric Bypass Mexico.

"Juan Pedro did very well in this surgery," said surgeon Jose Antonio Castaneda, who was quoted in the statement. "We are very optimistic."

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He said Mr Franco should be released in the next few days.

The operation on Thursday, which followed an earlier surgery in May, was performed by minimally invasive laparoscopy. This crucial procedure involved dividing Mr Franco's stomach in half to give it a much smaller capacity, while also removing a section of intestine.

If all goes well, Dr Castaneda said, the patient will be able to stop taking drugs for diabetes and high blood pressure. He will also, hopefully, be able to walk again - for the first time in seven years.

The patient said he felt considerable anxiety, but also hope, as he looks ahead.

"I was more nervous than in the first surgery," he said, "but I knew that this second surgery was a priority in my life if I am to be able to move forward." He said he was excited to be getting "closer and closer to having a healthy weight."

The Guinness World Records organisation certified early this year that Mr Franco, who was weighed last December at 595kg, was considered the heaviest living man.

That record had been held by another Mexican, Manuel Uribe, who in 2007 weighed in at 597kg. But he died in May 2016.

AFP

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