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Builder has Tumour Removed from Head in 'balloon surgery'

Pictures have been released which show how a man's head was expanded like a balloon for groundbreaking surgery.

Surgeons used the method to stretch Chris Stoyanov's skin over his scalp to get rid of a tumour.

A special bag was inserted and gradually filled with fluid until it was the size of a grapefruit.

I had never thought it could be so dangerous and it was quite a shock when I was told what could happen if I just left the tumour to grow. I knew something had to be done. Chris Stoyanov
I had never thought it could be so dangerous and it was quite a shock when I was told what could happen if I just left the tumour to grow. I knew something had to be done.
Chris Stoyanov

Mr Stoyanov, 30, from Worthing, West Sussex, had to live with the growth on his head for six months and was told by specialists that it could burst.

The builder admitted it wasn't easy, especially when sleeping at night.

But the procedure, performed by plastic surgeon Niall Kirkpatrick, was successful and the skin on the back of his head was stretched to cover his entire scalp.

Mr Stoyanov said: "It was very uncomfortable and as it got bigger, I had to be more and more careful that it didn't burst.

"It was a difficult six months but I managed to take things very slowly and carefully and it's proved a huge success."

'So dangerous'

Mr Stoyanov had gone through 17 years of operations before having the new surgery.

He was 13 when a fatty cyst appeared on the crown of his head and despite numerous surgeries in Bulgaria, surgeons couldn't remove it permanently.

After giving up on treatment in Bulgaria he moved to the UK in 2009.

Two years later he consulted his local GP who referred him to specialists in London.

He was told that if the tumour was left to grow untreated it could eventually pierce his skull and kill him.

"I had never thought it could be so dangerous and it was quite a shock when I was told what could happen if I just left the tumour to grow," he admitted.

"I knew something had to be done."

Surgeons discovered that previous attempts had not removed all the tumour tissue, which led to it growing back.

To get rid of it all they had to take away 23cm (9in) of skin from Mr Stoyanov's head, which was replaced with a skin graft from his thigh.

A balloon was gradually filled with 950ml of liquid through a tube inserted over Mr Stoyanov's right ear.

His hair started to grow back after a month and he will now never go bald as the hair that is growing comes from the back of his head, an area that isn't affected by hair loss.

 

Source: BBC Newsbeat

 

 

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