Another Vietnamese has headline-grabbing tumors removed

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A 36-year-old woman from the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang has become the third Vietnamese with headline-grabbing tumors to be treated by a famous American surgeon and Vietnamese doctors within three days.

Thach Thi Sa Ly had some of her bubble-like lumps, which densely covered her body and face, removed by Dr. McKay McKinnon, a renowned Chicago-based plastic surgeon, and doctors of Ho Chi Minh City-based Cho Ray Hospital on Saturday.

During the six-hour surgery, doctors primarily removed the tumors that were critically affecting Ly's physical functions, threatening her life, said Dr. Le Hanh, head of Cho Ray's Plastic Surgery Department.

They also treated lumps on her face and used a little skin from her thighs that was unaffected to put on the face, Hanh said. He added that doctors will conduct more surgeries to remove remaining tumors.

Since she was born, Ly has had small mole-like spots on her body. They gradually became bigger as she grew up, affecting her eyesight and limbs. She  had difficulty lying down, and others were scared away.


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Ly's surgery was the third consecutive operation that McKinnon performed in Vietnam since Thursday.

That day, he led Vietnamese doctors to remove a 90-kilogram tumor, the biggest ever in Vietnam, from Nguyen Duy Hai, a 32-year-old man from the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong.

On Friday, McKinnon performed surgery on 22-year-old Kieu Thi My Dung, also from Lam Dong, to remove a tumor weighing more than two kilograms from her face.

All of the patients, who were diagnosed with human genetic disorder Neurofibromatosis, made headlines in Vietnam in recent months because of their strangely shaped and massive tumors.

The tumors developed for many years because the patients could not afford treatment.

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