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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Maradona may have stomach stapled

Maradona may have stomach stapled

March 04, 2005 12:19 IST
Former Argentina World Cup-winning captain Diego Maradona may have his stomach stapled to reduce his ballooning waistline, a Colombian doctor says.

Maradona, 44, is deciding whether to have surgery in the picturesque port city of Cartagena on Colombia's Caribbean coast.

"I think he'll decide whether to do it or not within a couple of days," Francisco Holguin, head of Cartagena's Medihelp clinic, told Reuters on Thursday.

Maradona only stopped playing professionally in 1997 but has grown almost unrecognisably fat in recent years despite spending much of his time in a Cuban clinic fighting cocaine addition.

Maradona returned to Cartagena this week after visiting in mid-February when he denied rumours he was planning liposuction.

Stomach stapling, also known as a gastric bypass, reduces the stomach's capacity for holding food and bypasses part of the small intestine, forcing individuals to eat less.

"Diego Maradona is in good shape. At first we saw him to adjust the dosage of medication he's taking for high blood pressure, but that's now at normal levels," Holguin said.

Maradona spent more than a week in the intensive care unit of a Buenos Aires hospital last April with heart and breathing problems. He was then confined to a psychiatric clinic by his family.

In September, Maradona returned to Cuba, where he has lived since 2000, to undergo more treatment for drug addiction but under a stricter regime than before.

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