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20 Tumors Removed from 'Elephant Man'
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A Team of surgeons spent nearly eight hours Monday removing more than 20 tumors from the face of a 22-year-old man from the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The doctors from Shanghai No. 9 People's Hospital said this should be the last round of surgery needed for Ou Guifeng, who was previously known as the "elephant man" in his hometown due to his massive facial tumors.

Seven doctors took part in the surgery, which started at 8:30 AM and ran well into the afternoon. They took turns cutting massive neural fiber tumors off Ou's forehead, cheeks, nose and jaw.

"It was a success," said chief surgeon Li Qingfeng, adding that the biggest challenge for the doctors was to prevent massive hemorrhaging and avoid hurting any of the neural networks inside the tumors.

Ou developed a small bulge in the left side of his cheek at the age of two. As the size and number of tumors on his face increased, he was left nearly blind in his right eye.

Doctors said that the massive tumors were caused by a genetic disease and could only be treated with surgery.

Last May, Chinese-American painter Gao Jianwu heard about Ou's miserable life during a trip to Guangxi. He raised money from overseas Chinese to pay for Ou's medical treatment.

Ou first underwent surgery at the People's Hospital of Guilin in Guangxi on June 29. That operation had to be halted, however, due to massive hemorrhaging.

Shanghai No. 9 People's Hospital prepared 4,000 milliliters of blood for yesterday's surgery to avoid similar problems. They only used about 1,000 milliliters.

Doctors said they were able to lift Ou's right eye into the proper position without damaging his optic nerve, so they are optimistic he will regain his eyesight.

(Shanghai Daily December 12, 2006))

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