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Israeli Docs Treat Successfully Rare ‘Tree-man’ disease

For the first time in Israel, a man from Gaza, who suffered from the tree-man disease, was successfully treated at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.

For the first time in Israel, a very rare medical case was recorded at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, after Mohammed Taluli (42), who suffered from the tree-man disease, was successfully treated at the hospital.

Dr. Michael Chernofsky, an orthopedist and plastic expert from Hadassah Ein Kerem, met Taluli, a resident of Gaza, after arriving at his clinic for consultation, and complained that he was told that his condition does not allow any treatment and there is no chance of getting rid of the problem.

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“This is a very rare case, which has no documentation whatsoever in the medical books,” says Dr. Chernofsky, “a patient who had many complex tumors appeared in front of me and filled the entire hand for more than 10 years. “Aside from the pain, the disease is very dangerous and could easily develop into cancer,” Chernofsky said. “[Taluli] eventually couldn’t move the hand. He had become withdrawn and fearful of any possible situation that could cause him to show the hand to other people. He kept the hand covered all the time and life was very hard for him.”


The immune system can not cope with the tumor

The medical condition he suffered from was called the Tree-man disease. This is a complication of the papillomavirus, which the body is not strong enough to deal with. “There are different types of HPV, which causes various tumors in the body,” Dr. Chernofsky said. “Most people have an immune system that can cope with the same virus or can be supported by drugs. In the case of Taluli, one of the rare cases in the world, the impaired immune system is unable to treat the virus and allows it to develop in an exaggerated and uncontrollable manner. ”

Dr. Chernofsky admits that even he did not know of similar cases, except for one famous case of a Bangladeshi resident who was published in the media, who with 16 operations removed all the tumors from his hands: “I have a lot of experience with difficult and complex cases, but certainly not Like this one. Therefore, when he came to us, the decision to perform the operation was not easily accepted.”

Taluli said: “I have been suffering from this disease for almost 10 years, we tried to find treatment in Egypt, but there was nothing to do there, I tried my luck both in Nablus and Mukassed Hospital, and there was no effective treatment there,” he said.

Dr Shai Louria, the assisting surgeon said he and Chernofsky studied what little information they had about the condition before deciding to operate. “The idea was to draft a plan to minimize possibility that the lesions would return. It was also important that we prepare the dermatology staff, and to take special precautions in the operating theater, given the extremely contagious nature of the disease.” Louria said.

“It was also important to prepare with a team of dermatologists and operating room staff to make special arrangements in the operating room that this is a highly contagious disease, so we worked with double shielding and special masks to prevent the virus from being infected,” he added.

Chernofsky added that while other teams have used medical torches to burn off some of the lesions, that method releases lesion dust to get into the operating room, thus endangering the medical team. To avoid that, he said the team worked slowly and carefully to remove the lesions as completely as possible, occasionally leaving no skin on the hand. The team grafted skin from other parts of the patient’s body in order to cover the wounds.

“During the operation, the tumors were removed from the palm of the hand, when the performance was up to the maximum level for us as surgeons, and where the tumors were not left by the skin, we used his own skin to cover the implant. Now we are completing treatment with drugs that prevent tumors from returning” he explained

In addition, Taluli receives a special vaccine to attack the virus from within the body, and the hospital expects more surgeries, but less aggressive.

“Now that his condition is a few days after the surgery is satisfactory, we seem to have chosen the right operation and the right treatment for him, and we are optimistic,” the doctors conclude. “At first it looked so hard, now his hand looks like a hand with a large burn on it. Occupational therapy has already begun to help him reuse the hand he has not used for many years,” they add.

Taluli himself thanked the doctors: “I very much hope that my previous life is already behind me and I am waiting to see my family, my wife and my six children.”

By Ynet News



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