Diego Maradona Gastric Band
Diego Maradona was born on 30 October, 1960 to a poor family in Buenos Aires. He had no problems with his weight when he was younger, or throughout his career, with him being awarded the best footballer in the world award numerous times.
Before The Operation
With Maradona’s playing days behind him, he began to struggle with his weight. With a tendency to gain weight easily now he was not exercising as much his obesity started to get out of control. At a height of just 5’ 5” and a weight of almost 20 stone, Maradona decided that gastric bypass surgery was the answer.
On 6 March, 2005, Maradona paid $15,000 and underwent gastric band surgery at a clinic in Cartagena, Colombia. Gastric Band surgery is when a small circular band is placed around the top part of the stomach effectively making it one sixth of its original size. This makes the patient feel fuller quicker and after smaller amounts of food. The operation lasted two hours.
After surgery Maradona’s surgeon stated that he had put him onto a liquid diet for the first three months. He hoped that Maradona would be down to his target weight of 11 stone within 18 months and said “We can‘t really say just yet whether he is out of danger. Complications can arise up to one month after the procedure. But we don‘t foresee any with Maradona, he has been a perfect patient. The best I‘ve ever had.”. Shortly after the operation, Maradona said “I hope the city’s renowned obesity surgeons have worked their magic” whilst admitting he knew the surgery was not without risk.
After The Operation
After the surgery Maradona remained in the city for ongoing outpatient treatment. Given that his decision to stay in Colombia was seen as risky, with his addiction to cocaine; his doctors hoped that with he would rediscover his confidence after losing the excess weight. His personal doctor claimed that with the new diet and exercise plan that he had put into place, he hoped Maradona would lose around a stone a month.
The operation initially went really well with Maradona losing all of the weight he had hoped. In 2007 however Maradona was rushed to a Buenos Aires clinic against his will due to an “unspecified imbalance” which his personal doctor later said was due to excess drinking, smoking and eating. Maradona admitted that he had been cheating his gastric band and planned to go to Switzerland to try and rectify his eating habits.
However in 2009 the weight had started to creep back on, and in September, Maradona’s personal doctor, Alfredo Cahe, warned him he needed to lose weight for the sake of his long term health. Maradona then checked himself into a £2200 spa in Italy to work on his diet and exercise and to hopefully combat his stress and weight issues. He hoped to lose five kilos.