A Bangladeshi father dubbed “Tree Man” for massive bark-like warts on his hands and feet has successfully undergone surgery to remove some of the growths.
A nine-doctor team took three-and-a-half hours to remove the giant warts from Abul Bajandar’s right hand at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital, facility director Samanta Lal Sen said.
The 26-year-old was admitted last month for an operation to remove the growths weighing at least 5 kilograms that first began appearing 10 years ago.
“It was a successful operation. We removed warts from all five fingers of his right hand. He’s now happy and was laughing,” Dr Sen said.
“We’ll now review his condition for the next three weeks before deciding whether to conduct more operations. It’s a big challenge.”
Mr Bajandar, from the southern district of Khulna, was diagnosed with epidermodysplasia verruciformis, an extremely rare genetic condition dubbed “tree-man disease” that causes the skin growths.
He became a celebrity with people travelling to Khulna over the years to see the “Tree Man” and hundreds visiting him in hospital.
He was given the all-clear for surgery after tests confirmed the warts were not cancerous.
The Bangladesh Government agreed to bear the costs of his treatment and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was given an update on his condition, Dr Sen said.
Mr Bajandar’s wife Halima Khatun saw her husband after the operation and said he looked “relaxed and happy”.
Hospital director Dr Sen said there were only three known cases of epidermodysplasia verruciformis in the world and Mr Bajandar’s was the only one in Bangladesh.
Mr Bajandar told AFP last month he initially thought the warts were harmless but slowly as the growths covered his hands and feet, he was forced to quit working as a bicycle rickshaw puller.
An Indonesian villager with massive warts all over his body underwent a string of operations in 2008 to remove them.