Doctors in southern China are preparing to operate on a man who suffers from the world's most extreme case of elephantiasis of the face.

Huang Chuncai, 31, also known as China's elephant man, plans to undergo surgery in Guangzhou that will remove the 15kg tumour that has crippled him and left him ostracised from society.

The weight of carrying the tumour on his face has deformed his backbone, stunted his growth and left him in continual pain.

Mr Huang has had the condition since he was born and the tumour has grown as he grew older.

If the operation is successful, his quality of life will improve tenfold. But the procedure is very risky.

Mr Huang's doctor explained: "The tumour is huge and there are many blood vessels inside which makes the operation very difficult. If we cannot stop the bleeding during the operation, Huang will die."


He lost the sight in his right eye aged just ten when the tumour above his right eye grew to cover it completely.

It is now so large that he has almost lost his hearing and finds it difficult to speak.

His condition has made him a social outcast - at school he was bullied so badly that he was forced to leave.

And his father described how he was approached several years ago by someone who wanted to buy his son and display him as a freak show.

Mr Huang's family could not afford the medical costs for the operation until the Fuda Hospital offered to help. The facility has successfully operated on two patients with the same condition.