Warning — Graphic pictures below
For ten years, Stefan Zoleik lived with a disfiguring 13-pound facial tumour, an alarming growth caused by a rare disorder called Madelung disease. While the tumour isn’t usually life-threatening, the large growths can lead to pain and difficulty breathing.
The cause of Madelung disease remains unknown.
“Everyone was turning and looking at me, it was very unpleasant,” Zoleik told Jillian Kitchener of Reuters. “It also bothered me all the time when I moved my head.”
But just this year, during a five-hour surgery, doctors were able to remove the excess fat, Reuters reports, giving Zoleik his face back.
“This is amazing,” Zoleik told Reuters, when he looked in a mirror post-surgery. “Much better than it was before, which was horrible.”
Here he is before the surgery:
And here he is right after:
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