Maradona's Weight Surgery Is in Demand

Maradona, before and after
These two photos show Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona, left, in a March,31, 2005 file photo, and Aug. 15, 2005 file photo, right, after undergoing succesful weight-reduction surgery in Colombia. (Freddy Henriquez - AP)
Thursday, September 29, 2005

Diego Maradona has started a weight-loss trend.

Impressed by the way weight-reduction surgery in Colombia transformed the Argentine soccer icon, overweight Colombians are flocking to doctors for the same procedure -- and want the government to pay for it.

Maradona weighed 266 pounds before he had the surgery in March. Since losing an estimated 110 pounds, he has been jetting around the world, showing off his new body.

At least 14 Colombians have filed lawsuits to have government-provided health insurance pay for the same surgery. The cases have already become known as "Maradona lawsuits," Gina Magnolia Riano , director of the Ibero-American Social Security Organization, said at a medical forum Monday.

A judge recently ruled in one man's favor, and his surgery was scheduled for this week.

-- From News Services

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