AHMEDABAD: When Shanti (name changed) was taken out of the operation theater of a city hospital, she felt a huge weight lost from her body. For the last 18 years, the 56-year-old from Deogarh Baria had a tumor that weighed 47 kg. This tumor was almost equal to Shanti’s total weight. The total removal weighed 54 kg by adding up the abdominal wall tissue and excess skin removed by the doctors during the procedure.
Dr Chirag Desai, Surgical Gastroenterologist, Apollo Hospitals said, “We could not weigh the patient before the surgery as she could not stand straight. But after the operation, she weighed 49 kg. The retroperitoneal leiomyoma weighed more than its actual weight in our colloquial sense. That rarely happens.”
Talking to TOI, the elder son of the woman told that she was living with the tumor for the last 18 years. In the beginning it was not that big. It began as unexplained weight gain in the abdominal area. Thinking that it was due to gastric trouble he first took some ayurvedic and allopathic medicines. Then in 2004 a sonography revealed that it was a benign Tumor.”
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The same year the family went in for surgery. However, when the doctor noticed that the tumor was associated with all the internal organs including lungs, kidney, intestine etc. he considered the surgery too risky and sutured it.
Shanti’s son said, “Over the years he consulted many doctors but did not get any concrete results. The last two years of the pandemic were difficult as the tumor had almost doubled in size and my mother was in constant pain. She was out of bed. Couldn’t get down. Then we again consulted doctors for treatment.”
Dr Desai said the surgery was risky in many ways. All his internal organs were displaced. The heart, lungs, kidneys, uterus, etc. were separated from the tumor growing in the abdominal wall. In such a situation, it was not possible to do surgery without planning.
He said, “The size of the tumor obstructed the gantry of the CT scan machine. We had to bring in a technician who replaced the lower plate so that we could get the scan done. Because of its enormous size it was impossible to trace the origin of the tumor.”
Shanti’s blood pressure had increased due to the narrowing of the blood vessels. A week before the operation, she was given special medication and treatment to prevent her from collapsing when her blood pressure dropped due to the removal. A team of eight doctors, including four surgeons, were part of the four-hour-long operation.
Dr Nitin Singhal, an onco-surgeon who was part of the team said that India holds the largest record for getting rid of an ovarian tumor weighing 54 kg from a resident of New Delhi.
He said, “These are fibroids which are common in many women of reproductive age. But in rare cases like that, it becomes so large. Thus we can say with some confidence that the person who was operated upon is from Gujarat. And may well be one of the largest tumors ever reported from a living patient in India.”
“The biggest relief for a patient who was discharged on Monday after a fortnight of post-operative care is a return to normal life. I have almost forgotten how to sleep soundly or how to walk properly,” Shanti said.