Lucas McCulley opens up about his life-changing surgery on the latest episode of The Doctors

The following material contains graphic images of an actual surgery that may be disturbing. Parents are advised that these images may not be suitable for young children.

Lucas McCulley has a new outlook on life.

The Idaho man, 23, recently underwent a painstaking five-hour surgery to have a rare, 8-lb. lymphangioma tumor removed from his face. McCulley’s amazing transformation was revealed on Monday’s episode of The Doctors.

McCulley’s journey has been a long one. In addition to going through 24 surgeries before age 10, he also dealt with constant pain caused by the tumor, as well as health issues such as blurred vision and a burst eardrum.

But since the surgery, McCulley is thriving.

“With all the pain I had before, I really don’t have that pain at all now. I don’t wake up with it. I don’t go to sleep with it. I can sleep through the night without waking up,” he explained to Dr. Travis Stork. “I do new activities like swimming without pain…It’s a whole different world.”

McCulley’s mom Sheri told Dr. Stork she was amazed by his progress. “We probably went through 100 ibuprofen a week down to zero,” she said. “He’s become so much more independent now. He’s moved out. He’s got a new dog.”

The procedure was performed by Dr. Gregory Levitin, Director of Vascular Birthmarks and Malformations at Mount Sinai in New York City, who called it “much riskier than expected.” He said McCulley’s tumor was truly “burdensome” and draining on the body. When that type of tumor is removed, said Dr. Levity, a patient’s energy tends to goes up, he sleeps better and it “really is a complete change in quality of life.”

McCulley couldn’t agree more.

“Not having that weight on you is completely different… it’s something that I never thought would happen and it happened,” said McCulley. “It’s changed pretty much everything for the better.”