A young man from Moscow has learned the hard way that injecting three (3) liters of petroleum jelly into each of his biceps was not a good way to achieve fitness. Although it is, possibly, a good way to poison himself slowly to death.
Fortunately, he has found doctors to take on the complicated multi-surgery procedure.
Kirill Tereshin, 25, of Moscow, has been an MMA fighter in Russia for the past several years. He garnered the nickname “Popeye” after he began injecting petroleum jelly—”synthol,” as it’s called in MMA circles—into his biceps, in an effort to achieve that “swole” look. Unfortunately, as literally any person off the street might have suggested to him had he asked, it turns out that injecting yourself with petroleum jelly is extremely bad for your body. Tereshin is now at risk of, at the very least, losing his arms; he may even die.
Tereshin had surgery earlier this year, and recuperated from it well. Currently, his main issue is that he needs another surgery to get the substance fully removed. Due to the COVID-19, hospitals are overwhelmed; resultantly, some of Tereshin’s scheduled surgeries have been pushed back on the calendar.
Tereshin’s surgeon for the upcoming procedure, Dr. Dmitry Melnikov, has warned that there is a high likelihood of “complications” from this surgery; however, waiting a moment longer than necessary is not an option.
“A toxic substance in the body long term can [damage] the kidneys and lead to death,” Dr. Melnikov said bluntly.
Tereshin’s upcoming operation will take the hardened petroleum jelly out of his left arm.
Tereshin now regrets getting the cheap implants, explaining it was a choice he made, “when I was 20, due to my own stupidity. I did not think about the consequences. I should have thought about this earlier, I know. I blame myself, I know I’m guilty.”
Still, it’s hard not to feel a little sorry for him. After all, most people on earth have probably made at least one stupid or reckless decision around the age of twenty.
“I am very lucky that there are doctors who took me on,” Tereshin acknowledged.
Melnikov, who also performed Tereshin’s first removal surgery, explained what makes these surgeries so difficult: “Petroleum jelly saturates the muscles, under skin tissue, and the skin itself. All of that has to be removed, but we also need to keep the vein, nerves, and other functions of the limb [intact]. [This is why] petroleum jelly is not designed for injection. It is for external application only.”
Tereshin, however, had approximately three liters of petroleum jelly in each arm before the first surgery. According to doctors, the implants “saturated the muscle tissues [and] blocked blood flow.” This, in turn, led to necrosis and the development of scar tissue. Melnikov noted that the scar tissue is “as tough as a tree, you can even knock on it and hear [a similar sound to knocking on wood].” The first surgery removed much of this material, but there is more to be removed.
Alana Mamaeva, the wife of Russian soccer player Pavel Mamaev, is a leading campaigner against cosmetic surgery abuses in Russia. She is the one who persuaded Tereshin to get the surgeries that are saving his life, after the implants began to cause Tereshin high fevers, as well as intense pain and bouts of weakness.
“The hardest surgery will be on my biceps. The nerve responsible for the arms’ sensitivity is inside,” Tereshin said. “God forbid something happens to this nerve and I cannot move my arm. I’m really worried about this. I am very afraid.”
Lead image: @ruki_bazuki_official/Instagram