11/28/2011 02:53 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Former World's Fattest Man Paul Mason Wants British Govt. To Remove His Fat Folds (VIDEO)

Some people have the weight of the world on them. Paul Mason has that and more.

Mason, a British citizen who once held the Guinness World Record for "World's Fattest Man" when he weighed nearly 980 pounds, had a gastric bypass operation last year that helped him get his weight down to a relatively svelte 420 pounds.

That operation alone cost British taxpayers nearly $47,000. Combined with other procedures, his medical bills are estimated at $1.5 million, according to Digital Journal.

Now Mason, who once averaged 20,000 calories a day, wants the National Health Service to pay for surgery that will remove the unslightly folds of flesh still hanging from his arms, legs and torso.

VIDEO: (Story Continues Below) “It’s very frustrating. I just need a little bit more help," he told The Mirror. "I feel like I have been just left high and dry. I need this operation to be able to get my life back."

The operation could be done privately for around $3,510, about the cost of Mason's monthly food bill before the operation. However, officials say the operation is cosmetic and won't pay for their removal until Mason's weight stabilizes.

In addition to the health costs associated with Mason's obesity, British taxpayers have also had to bear the cost of housing him in jail. The former postal worker was sentenced for stealing from letters, according to the Daily Mail.

Moreover, Mason is suing the National Health Service for sending him to dietitians who merely told him to lose weight -- but didn't identify his problem as an eating disorder, the New York Daily News reported earlier this year.

San Diego-based plastic surgeon Dr. Barry Handler says that while skin contouring operations are common for morbidly obese people after gastric bypass surgery, they are not the best candidates for surgery.

"There are complications 50 percent of the time," he told HuffPost Weird News. "For a doctor, the challenge is more creative. Figuring out how to anchor the skin. It can be like sewing two sticks of butter."


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