A former soldier who earned the nickname ‘Popeye’ after injecting his arms with jelly to create bulging biceps has had to undergo surgery to save his life.
Kirill Tereshin, 23, was warned he could die or need to have both his arms amputated because of the articifial biceps he had created.
Surgeons at First Moscow State Medical University in the Russian capital said they had removed 3lb of dead muscle and three litres of petroleum jelly that had formed into a solid lump.
And lead surgeon Dmitry Melnikov said his team was only a quarter of the way through the huge operation.
It will take at least three more surgeries for all of the Vaseline-like jelly to be removed from Kirill’s arms, Dr Melnikov said.
The bodybuilder – who found global fame for his fake bulging biceps – was persuaded to undergo urgent treatment by Alana Mamaeva, 32, a leading campaigner for victims of botched plastic surgery.
She released a video showing Kirill after his first operation frantically asking the surgeon: ‘How many muscles have I lost?’Tereshin some days before the surgery, he had injected three litres of jelly.
The surgeon said: ‘The problem is that this is the petroleum jelly. You injected this so thoroughly, that it spread in the muscle and killed it.
‘It was dead anyway.’
He added: ‘We have done 25% of the repairs.’
Kirill has been told he will have arm movement but the muscles in his arms will be diminished.
Alana, who helped raise funds for his surgery, said: ‘We are going to try and help this young man.’
Former army conscript Kirill told her before the operation: ‘I am ready, I am even not afraid.’
Dr Melnikov told his patient: ‘Petroleum jelly saturates the muscles, under skin tissues and the skin itself.
‘All that has to be removed, but we need to keep the vein, nerves and other functions of the limb.’Dr Dmitry Melnikov and the lump he removed from one of the former soldier’s arms.
He added: ‘Petroleum jelly is not designed for injection, only external application. Kirill injected about three litres into each arm.
‘It saturated the muscle tissues, blocked blood flow and as a result the tissue dies and gets replaced with a scar which is as tough as a tree.’
He said the implants were causing him ‘high fever, strong pain, and weakness’.
Kirill was ‘lucky’ that the damage had remained only in his limbs and not spread to the rest of his body, the surgeon said.
Dr Melnikov added: ‘Petroleum jelly affects the whole body, kidneys in particular.Surgeons said he would need three more operations to fully remove all the jelly he had injected.
‘I think Kirill did not fully realise the consequences of what he had been doing.’
In Russia, plastic surgery involving injecting petroleum jelly under the surface of the skin has been on the rise, especially with people seeking ‘fillers’.
The surgeon said he had seen patients previously who had the dangerous substance injected into their breasts, buttocks and faces.