'Tree Man' Back in Hospital To Remove Rapidly Growing Warts

by VR Sreeraman on  February 13, 2009 at 12:55 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
An Indonesian dubbed "Tree Man" because of massive bark-like warts all over his body underwent a ninth round of surgery on Thursday to remove more of the growths, a doctor said.
 'Tree Man' Back in Hospital To Remove Rapidly Growing Warts
'Tree Man' Back in Hospital To Remove Rapidly Growing Warts

Dede Koswara, 38, had extensive treatment last year for the first time to cut off 13.2 kilogrammes of the fast-growing warts, but the doctor warned Thursday they are rapidly growing back.

"No cure for the disease exists yet, so he needs operations every three to four months because the warts keep on growing," said Rachmatdinata, director of Hasan Sadikin Hospital in Bandung city, West Java.

Treatment last year allowed Koswara to use his hands and move with relative freedom for the first time in years, the thick warts are clustered most densely around his feet and hands, though they cover his whole body.

Seven surgeons worked for four hours in the latest operation to remove 1.4 kilogrammes (3.08 pounds) of the thick growths, which have drawn worldwide attention to the villager.

"Dede's in good physical condition, better than before since he's quit smoking," said the doctor.

Koswara's condition has been diagnosed by a US dermatologist as a genetic defect that means his body is unable to stop the growth of warts caused by the human papilloma virus.

It had initially been hoped that treatment with doses of vitamin A would check the growths, which have led to Koswara being abandoned by his wife and unable to care for his two children.

Before surgery in August last year, the condition also left Koswara unable to bathe himself or work, except in a travelling "freak show".

Source: AFP

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