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China's 'elephant man' goes under the knife

Surgeons remove part of monster tumour

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Chinese surgeons today removed around 10kg (22lb) of a monster tumour which had transformed 31-year-old Huang Chuncai into the country's homegrown Joseph Merrick, Reuters reports.

Huang's 15kg (33lb) growth had completely covered his left eye, "engulfed" his right ear and jaw while causing his left ear to hang down to his shoulder. The hospital records record the Hunan man's record-breaking outbreak as "about 57cm (22.4 inches) long and [having] a 97cm (38inches) perimeter at its end".

Poor old Huang stands at a mere 135cm (4ft 5in), and suffered a malformed spine as a result of his unwanted burden.

A pre-op ultrasound revealed the tumour was packed with blood vessels, leading to concerns that uncontrolled bleeding during surgery could result in Huang popping his clogs in less than two minutes. In the end, however, the one-and-a-half hour procedure was a success.

The lead surgeon said: "Medically speaking, Huang's condition is stable. Until now the surgery has been very successful."

Huang's brother Weicai admitted: "I was so nervous and felt so much pressure during my brother's operation. I wanted to pray, I was thinking about him all the time, I didn't know whether to stand up or sit down. When I saw that the tumor had been cut off I could relax. It was more than 10 kg, unbelievable.

"My brother's face weighed more than 15 kg. He has carried this tumor for more than 30 years. It's unimaginable." ®

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