Rare Diseases

‘Tree Man’ undergoes life-changing surgery to remove 11 pounds of warts

Abdul Bajandar underwent his first surgery to remove the growths last February.

Abdul Bajandar underwent his first surgery to remove the growths last February.  (Barcroft.)

A man whose wart-covered skin earned him the striking nickname “Tree Man” has turned over a new leaf after undergoing 16 surgeries in a year to remove the debilitating growths.

Barcroft Media reported 27-year-old Abul Bajandar’s hands and feet were consumed by 11 pounds of bark-like warts due to epidermodysplasia verruciformis (EV), an extremely rare condition involving widespread infection by human papillomavirus (HPV). A spring 2010 article in The Canadian Journal of Plastic Surgery describes the condition as “an early and unusual presentation” that leaves individuals with “a propensity for developing malignant skin tumors.” Often surfacing in childhood, these growths are associated with an increased risk of nonmelanotic skin cancer on sun-exposed areas.

After living with the condition for about 10 years, Bajandar, of Bangladesh, began undergoing surgery— the first last February— and now, his hands and feet are “almost fine” Samanta Lal Sen, plastic surgery coordinator at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, told AFP. What’s left are a few small surgeries on his hands, but Bajandar is slated for discharge sometime within the next few weeks.

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"I feel so much better,” Bajandar told AFP. “I can hold my daughter in my lap and play with her.”

If the surgeries succeed in warding off the growths, AFP reported Bajandar would be the first known person to be cured of EV.

"I hope the curse won't return again,” he told the website.