‘Tree Man’ Has Surgery: What Causes This Rare Condition?
A 27-year-old man in Bangladesh known as the “tree man” recently underwent surgery to remove the extensive, wood-like warts that covered his hands and feet. But what causes this rare disease?
Over the past year, the man, Abul Bajandar, has undergone 16 surgeries to remove 11 lbs. (5 kilograms) of the unusual growths from his hands and feet, according toAgence France-Presse (AFP).
Prior to the surgery, the growths were so extensive that Bajandar could not feed himself or hold his daughter.
“Now I feel so much better; I can hold my daughter in my lap and play with her,” Bajandar told AFP. [27 Oddest Medical Cases]
Bajandar has a rare genetic condition called epidermodysplasia verruciformis, according to news reports. People with this condition are more susceptible to human papillomavirus (HPV)infections in their skin, according to a 2010 report of the condition.
In people with this condition, HPV infections lead to the formation of wart-like skin lesions, which progress to malignant tumors in about 50 percent of patients, the report said. In people without this condition, infections with the same HPV strains may not cause any symptoms, according to Medscape.
People with epidermodysplasia verruciformis typically have mutations in two genes, called EVER1 and EVER2. It’s not exactly clear how these gene mutations lead to the condition, but it’s thought that these mutations make the body less able to ward off HPV infections.
In 2016, doctors at Dhaka Medical College and Hospital in Bangladesh performed the 16 surgeries, and Bajandar is expected to leave the hospital within the next 30 days, according to the AFP report.
It’s not clear if Bajandar is cured of his condition; his warts could grow back, the AFP report said.
Currently, there is no definitive cure for epidermodysplasia verruciformis, according to the 2010 paper.
“Finding ways to address skin lesions in epidermodysplasia verruciformis patients is a constant struggle,” the paper said.
In addition to surgery, treatment can include drugs called retinoids, which can curb cell growth and are sometimes used to treat skin conditions; and interferon, a protein produced by the body to fight viruses.
However, “though there are a plethora of [treatment] options, none seem to be curative, and lesions usually recur after treatment cessation,” the paper said.
Original article on Live Science.
Indonesian known as ‘the tree man’ due to disease which left him with branch-like warts dies without ever fulfilling his dream of living to see a cure and becoming a carpenter again
- Dede Koswara was given the nickname due to the warts covering his body
- He suffered from a rare, incurable disease which caused the huge growths
- The illness tragically cost him his wife and family, job and independence
- Mr Koswara had always hoped to live until a cure was found for the disease
- He dreamed of returning to carpentry, but by the end was unable to move
PUBLISHED: 11:57 GMT, 3 February 2016 | UPDATED: 04:41 GMT, 4 February 2016
An Indonesian known as ‘the tree man’ due to the scaly warts covering his body has passed away after a long battle with his rare and incurable illness.
Dede Koswara, 42, died in hospital in Bandung, Indonesia, on the morning of January 30, 2016 without ever realising his dream of living to see a cure and returning to carpentry.
In the past three months, doctors said he had resigned himself to the debilitating illness which over several decades tragically came to cost him his family, job and independence.
The debilitating illness, named Lewandowsky-Lutz dysplasia, results in uncontrolled infections and warts. Here he is pictured in hospital on December 10, just weeks prior to his death
The disease was so severe his hands and feet (pictured) were covered in more than 13lbs of warts. Here he is pictured prior to surgery in February, 2009
He died of a complicated series of health problems, including hepatitis, liver and gastric disorders, three months after he had checked into hospital.