Myanmar's 'tallest man' undergoes successful surgery

Myanmar's tallest man—"Big Zaw"—has returned from Singapore where doctors said he underwent successful brain surgery to remove a tumour responsible for his excessive growth.

Win Zaw Oo, who stands seven feet eight inches tall (233 centimetres) arrived in Yangon on Thursday from the city-state where specialists carried out the life-saving eight-hour operation.

Media reports about "Big Zaw", who is believed to be the tallest man in the former junta-ruled nation, stirred global interest leading to offers to pay for the $55,000 surgery.

"Everything is fine with me now," the 36-year-old, nicknamed 'Big Zaw' told reporters late Thursday.

"There is a of bit problem with one of my eyes. The is a bit hazy."

Smiling for the cameras at Yangon airport and wearing a custom made shirt and trousers, Win Zaw Oo said he would soon return to his village in Magway region, adding: "I have missed my mother so much."

Doctors said Win Zaw Oo, who left Myanmar last month, should stop growing after the removal of the tumour on his , which was causing his body to produce excessive .

Khin Maung Win, a liver specialist who contacted Win Zaw Oo after his condition came to light and offered to pay most of the costs, said the operation was a "100 percent success".

"If he did not have the treatment, he would have grown taller and taller... and he would die. Now he has the chance to live," he said. "Win Zaw Oo is now a normal healthy man."

Win Zaw Oo, who has spent much of his life barefoot because his family was unable to afford special shoes, is significantly taller than the 168cm (five foot six) average Myanmar man.

His case has cast light on the limitations of Myanmar's threadbare , which was neglected during decades of army rule.

A new quasi-civilian regime took power in 2011, but remains woefully inadequate.

Official figures show the state only allocated around one percent of its expenditure to healthcare in its 2011 to 2012 budget, rising to three percent in 2012 to 2013.

Related Stories

'Asia tallest man' hospitalised in China

date Jul 08, 2013

A 2.55-metre (8 foot 4 inch) Chinese man who is among the world's tallest living people has been hospitalised for a hip replacement, reports said Monday.

Myanmar Muslim hospital offers hope in troubled times

date Sep 16, 2013

From political activists freed after years in Myanmar's jails to stricken and impoverished families, all are welcome at Yangon's Muslim Free Hospital—a symbol of unity in a country riven by religious unrest.

Recommended for you

New software helps improve surgical safety

date Apr 13, 2015

Because the spine is made up of repeating elements that look alike, surgeons can mistakenly operate on the wrong vertebra. To avoid this, Johns Hopkins researchers have developed a software program that works ...

Can facial plastic surgery make you more likeable?

date Apr 09, 2015

Facial plastic surgery may do more than make you look youthful. It could change—for the better—how people perceive you. The first study of its kind to examine perception after plastic surgery finds that ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.