The first-ever procedure to remove a mole, one of thousands of surgeries that are routinely performed on Israeli women, has turned out to be one of the most traumatic and distressing of them all.
In her second-floor apartment in Jerusalem’s Old City, Amal Elashi, 34, received a tattoo that read “I am the mole.”
The tattoo had to be removed because she was suffering from fibrosis, a disorder of tissue that causes cells to swell and contract.
“I was very afraid and it was hard to breathe.
I had to do a lot of thinking,” Elashi said, recounting the experience.
“I felt like a slave.”
Elashi underwent surgery in 2013 after she had a blood clot in her liver, and was diagnosed with fibrosis in 2014.
She said the operation involved removing a small, blood-filled sac around her liver.
“When the blood was removed, it gave me pain, and I started to feel sick.
My stomach ached and my heart was racing.
I thought I was going to die,” she said.
The procedure was carried out in a surgical team of about 40 people.
The team included anesthesiologists, dermatologists, gastroenterologists and specialists in skin and hair restoration.
After surgery, Elashi had to take daily injections of steroids to control the swelling.
She also had to get up at 5:30am and walk home at 6:00pm to work and her children’s school.
Elashi’s family was overwhelmed by the success of the surgery.
But she had to continue her chemotherapy regimen after the procedure, which left her with severe depression and fatigue.
“My family is not happy.
We are all in tears,” Elashias mother, Haneen, said.
The procedure, however, was not a total success for Elashi.
In a series of interviews with The Jerusalem Times, Elashia said she was left feeling humiliated.
“It was a total failure,” she told The Jerusalem Report.
“There was a lot I could have done to prevent this, but I was not prepared for what happened.”
Elashia was also left with a scar.
“I am not ashamed of what happened to me,” she added.
After undergoing her first surgery, which took about two hours, Elasha underwent a second procedure in 2014 and another in 2015, when she had yet another clot in the liver.
After the second surgery, she had three more liver transplants, and a second operation in 2017, after her liver had become so badly damaged that she needed a second liver transplant.
Elashi said she felt ashamed and that she could not bear to tell her family about her condition.
When asked what she would say to her mother, she replied, “I hope she will forgive me.”