A pensioner suffered years of torment after developing a hernia that inflated to the size of a football every time he coughed.
Glenn Williams, 67, was left with the gigantic bulge following complications from bowel cancer surgery. He spent two years suffering with the growth - which measured 20cm by 30cm and was so pronounced he was even accused of shoplifting.
A hernia occurs when an internal part of the body – usually the bowel or fatty tissue - pushes through a weakness in the muscle or surrounding tissue wall.
Mr Williams was originally told his hernia, which was ten times bigger than the usual size, was inoperable.
'If I coughed and when I was standing my stomach shot out like a football. I had different belts to try and keep it in but nothing worked,' he said.Eventually, he was referred to consultant plastic surgeon Graham Offer who told him about a ground-breaking new procedure.
'People accused my of shoplifting, they thought I was hiding something.
'On another occasion when I had my Jack Russell terrier with me someone asked why I hadn't given him the football and another person even asked when my twins were due.
'People would stare at me whereever I went. It affected me not only mentally, and physically, but emotionally too.
'It was highly embarrassing and depressing. It was awful.'
The father-of-two, from Leicester, underwent a complex six-hour operation which involved splitting the muscle layers of his abdomen and moving them over each other like a sandwich.
Shocking video footage shows Mr Williams lying on a hospital trolley and being asked to cough by a doctor.
As he coughs, the giant hernia can be seen inflating to the size of a football.
Mr Williams said his life had been changed by the pioneering operation at Leicester Royal Infirmary.
'My life when I had the hernia made me quite depressed, as it got bigger and bigger and I found I could do less and less because the weight of it.Mr Offer, who is a leading specialist in complex abdominal wall re-construction, said it was the biggest hernia he had ever operated on.
'It caused me to suffer with back ache, dizzy spells, aches in legs, it was just horrible,' he said.
'I thought the hernia was just something I would have to live with after my bowel cancer operation.
'But at last I can look in the mirror again and not find my reflection repulsive.
'I am over the moon, having a normal body not having people stare at me is just amazing.'