A man once thought to be world’s fattest has released naked images of himself in a plea for medical help to address the excess skin he needs removing.
Paul Mason went from 70 stone to 24, but says he is “stuck in limbo” by the excess skin that continues to swamp his frame.
He told the BBC: “I want health professionals to have a look and think ‘It’s about time we helped this chap’.
“Around my middle and on my legs the skin keeps splitting because of the weight of it.”
The NHS says Mason needs to have maintained a stable weight for two years before the matter can be addressed.
NHS online literature states folds and rolls of excess skin become "most apparent 12-18 months after surgery." It concedes: "They can look ugly and are difficult to keep clean, so you may be vulnerable to developing rashes and infections."
"I feel like I'm still trapped with the excess skin," said Mason.
"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 mobilise it splits. It splits underneath and at the side of my tummy.”
He continued: “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 [Willoughby] here.”
The former postman lost 46st after having a gastric bypass in 2010 to reduce the size of his stomach.
Mason believes the NHS should pay for further surgery to remove folds of loose skin, which could cost up to £37,000 if done privately.
"It's available, it's part of the treatment," he said. "I'm doing my part. I’ve changed my life, I’ve proved that. And the NHS started the treatment with the gastric bypass surgery and now I'm at the stage where I need an apronectomy. It needs doing so I can be more mobile.”
Mason, who once consumed 20,000 calories per day, described his overeating as a debilitating food addiction which was caused by many factors, including a broken heart when he was 21.
“It was a combination of issues from school and issues in family life. So all those things just built up inside and I used food to try and blot out those feelings that I had in my head."