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"Tree Man" of Bangladesh Operated for Removing Bark-like Warts from Hand
A Bangladeshi father dubbed 'Tree Man' because of massive bark-like warts on his hands and feet has undergone a successful operation to remove some of the growths.

Abdul Bajandar, from south Bangladesh, underwent a three-and-a-half hour long surgery to remove the lesions from one of his hands at a hospital in the capital Dhaka on Saturday.

The 26-year-old was admitted last month for an operation to remove the growths weighing at least 11lbs that first began appearing ten years ago.

'I have fought for 10 years and endured the pain,' Mr Bajandar told CNN before the operation.

'I want to live like a normal person. I just want to be able to hold my daughter properly and hug her.

'It would be nice to eat with my own hands as well,' he added

It took a team of nine doctors at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital, to remove the growths from just one of his hands, facility director Samanta Lal Sen said.

'It was a successful operation. We removed warts from all five fingers of his right hand. He's now happy and was laughing,' 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.'

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, Sen said.

Bajandar's wife Halima Khatun saw her husband after the operation and said he looked 'relaxed and happy'.

Hospital director Sen said there were only three known cases of epidermodysplasia verruciformis in the world and Bajandar's was the only one in Bangladesh.

Speaking last month, Mr Bajandar said he initially thought that 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.
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