A 23-year-old Russian man named Kirill Tereshin is better known as "Russian Popeye" due to his unnaturally large biceps and triceps, which mimic the cartoon character. However, botched plastic surgeries involving petroleum jelly injections, which gave Tereshin his trademark look, are now a threat to his life. Tereshin underwent the first of four surgeries to remove masses of dead muscle and petroleum jelly accumulated in his arms.
Tereshin started bulking up his arms after he left the Russian army. Apart from going to the gym to gain a bodybuilder's physique, Tereshin resorted to cheap plastic surgery. To make body parts look bulkier, there is the option of getting expensive implants. However, instead of the expensive implants, many people in Russia opt to get petroleum jelly injected into their bodies.
Petroleum jelly is a foreign substance that is not meant for internal use. The substance may be an effective lip moisturiser, but it is by no means a healthy replacement for proper implants. Tereshin's doctor, Dmitry Melnikov from Sechenov Moscow State Medical University, explained that the substance saturated the muscles and killed them.
The failed mixed martial arts fighter had injected over three litres of petroleum jelly into each of his arms. Tereshin was suffering from weakness, aches and high fevers due to the foreign substance in his body. In a video shared by The Sun, Melnikov explained the severity of his condition to Tereshin, who was worried about losing his muscles.
Melnikov informed him that the muscles in his arms were dead. If the dead mass mixed with the petroleum jelly was not removed, he may soon start losing the use of his hands. Instead of having to amputate his arms later, Tereshin opted to undergo the series of surgeries to get rid of the harmful deposits.
After the first surgery, Melnikov removed 3lbs (1.3kgs) of dead muscle saturated with petroleum jelly from the left arm. Tereshin will have to undergo three more surgeries to remove the mass from both his arms. Melnikov claims that Tereshin's situation is not unique, as more and more Russian people are using the cheap option to enhance their features.