The Italian Almanac

Manuel Uribe Garza

Italian News - September 8

A Mexican weighing 550 kilos, and thought to be the fattest man in the world, is to have his bodyweight surgically reduced in Italy. Manuel Uribe Garza, 40, is to travel to Modena, central Italy, for his operation. Uribe Garza, 1.9 metres tall, has been suffering from "morbid obesity" for around 20 years and is no longer mobile.

"We will hold a meeting in the coming days to work out the details of the hospitalisation and to prepare the operating theatre and the appropriate surgical tools," professor Giancarlo DeBernardinis said. "That is actually our main problem," he explained: "We have to create a tailor-made operating theatre and we will also need extra-large tools and surgical retractors."

DeBernardinis has already operated on around 1,000 overweight people. He visited his future patient in Mexico in March, and will travel there again this month before giving the operation the final go-ahead. The Italian doctors plan to create "a series of short-circuits" in Uribe Garza's intestines, reducing their food absorption so that "only 10% of the intestine is available for channelling food".

In January Uribe Garza told the Mexican television channel Televisa that until he was 22 - when he weighed 130 kilos - he lived a normal life and worked in the United States. "Then I kept getting fatter, and I very quickly became obese," he said.