After Dozens of Surgeries, 'Tree Man's' Prospects Bleak

Doctors thought he was cured, but growths are returning
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2018 8:44 AM CST

(Newser) – In February 2016, Abul Bajandar underwent his first surgery to remove giant warts that looked like tree bark from his hands and feet. Roughly one year and 16 surgeries later, things were looking up. A year past that, with the Bangladeshi man's surgery tally at 24, the news isn't so good. The AFP reports Bajandar, nicknamed "tree man," once again has growths covering his hands. He suffers from epidermodysplasia verruciformis, an extremely rare hereditary condition involving "widespread" infection by human papillomavirus. He previously described the pain of it as "unbearable," and hopes were that surgery could make him the first person ever cured of epidermodysplasia verruciformis.

Now, "I am scared to have any more surgeries. I don't think my hands and feet will be okay again," he tells the AFP, which notes he actually did have surgery No. 25 this week. Samanta Lal Sen, the surgeon overseeing his treatment, tells AFP that initial hopes Bajandar had been cured have been dashed, and it now "seems to be a time-consuming case. We will keep on investigating to reach the ultimate success, though it's tough to say how long it will take." In the meantime, Bajandar, his wife, and 4-year-old daughter are living in the Dhaka Medical College Hospital where he is receiving free treatment. LiveScience cites a 2010 paper on the condition that notes the growths can become malignant tumors. (This girl may be the first female "tree man.")

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