World's Tallest Man Sultan Kosen Finally Stops Growing

| by Michael Allen

According to Guinness World Records, Sultan Kosen has been named the world's tallest living man over the past three years. He has held the title, while growing an extra inch every year, topping out at 8 feet 3 inches.

This "honor" has come with a price.

The Daily Mail reports that Kosen suffers from a condition called "gigantism." In his childhood, Kosen developed a pituitary tumor which caused his pituitary gland to produce an enormous amount of growth hormone. Kosen's condition was also causing other physical problems, such as poor eyesight and problems with joints, which makes walking difficult.

At 29 years old, the Turkish man has finally stopped growing, thanks to Dr. Mary Lee Vance, an endocrinologist at the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, Va.

Dr. Vance saw Kosen on a Discovery Channel special, contacted him and put Kosen on some medication to bring down his growth hormone levels.

However, the medication wasn't enough, so Dr. Vance contacted Dr. Jason Sheehan, a neurosurgeon at the University of Virginia Health System.

Dr. Sheehan said: "As he was growing taller and taller, he kept getting sicker and sicker. He had a very aggressive tumor involving the base of his skull and brain that was in a very difficult location to removal. The human body and heart is not well designed for a person who is 8 [feet] tall."

In August of 2010, Dr. Sheehan used gamma rays, guided by a MRI, to treat specific areas in Kosen's brain.

Only three months ago, Kosen fstopped growing, as did his tumor, but Dr. Sheehan added:  "It takes one to two years for the full effects of surgery to be realized."

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