Kaohsiung hospital gives ‘heaviest man in Asia’ second chance at life


TAIPEI — A Kaohsiung man was discharged from E-Da Hospital in the city Wednesday after recovering from gastric bypass surgery to help reduce his weight.

Dubbed ��the heaviest man in Asia,�� Lee Chih-cheng weighed in at 261 kilograms when he was admitted to hospital Nov. 11.

Doctors at E-DA Hospital performed the gastric bypass procedure, which reduces the functional volume of the stomach and reroutes the small intestines to allow food to bypass part of the digestive system.

Within a month of the surgery, Lee had lost 50 kg and his weight had dropped to 211 kg.

Upon his discharge Wednesday from hospital, however, it still required 10 strong orderlies to help lift him into the van that was taking him home.

Lee’s doctors said they expect him to regain mobility and be able to walk unassisted when his weight falls to 150 kg.

Lee said he wants to continue losing weight so that he will no longer be bedridden but rather will be more active and eventually find gainful employment. He also dreams of visiting Taipei 101, he said, promising to follow his doctors’ dietary guidelines.

Huang Chih-kun, director of the Bariatric & Metabolic International Surgery Center at E-Da Hospital, said Lee’s success is dependent on his ability to consume fewer than than 800 calories per day.

The initial phase of the gastric bypass procedure has decreased the functional volume of Lee stomach to about 100 cubic centimeters and thus limit his appetite for food, Huang said.

Long-term monitoring is required before a second round of surgery that will be possible when Lee reaches 150 kg, Huang said, adding that the ideal weight for the patient is 90 kg.

E-Da Hospital estimated that Lee’s total medical fees will amount to NT$1 million, NT$200,000 of which has been donated by religious organizations.

Lee is hoping for other donations to make up the shortfall.