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Lung, part of heart removed from man

delhi Updated: Sep 14, 2009 22:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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A patient admitted to AIIMS with a dangerous tumour may now live a normal life despite his right lung, a major blood vessel and a portion of heart missing.

Doctors at AIIMS removed some of organs as they were operating the thymus gland tumour.

The thymus gland lies in the centre of the chest behind the breastbone. It makes special white blood cells, which help to fight infection.

The tumour had spread in the right lung, the heart and its protective membrane and the crucial artery Superior Vena Cava —that carries blood from lungs to heart— of this 26-year-old youth, whose name has been withheld by the doctors citing patient secrecy.

Doctors at AIIMS had earlier tried the surgery on nearly seven patients as treatment for Thymus gland tumour, which in the past remained an untouched and inoperable area by the medical fraternity

in the country.

"Though the preferred mode of treatment for this tumour is surgical resection, in India a tumour in the Thymus gland is an untouched area. Patients with this ailment are allowed to die a slow death," said Dr Shiv Kumar Choudhary, additional professor, cardiothoracic and vascular surgery said.

"Aggressive resection is the only mode of treatment. The functional capacity of the individual is reduced but the longevity is increased," said Dr Choudhary.

This condition has been found in patients in the age group of 25 and 40 years.

“Patients from different hospitals were referred to us. We tried radiotherapy and chemotherapy but it did no wonders. Seeing so many deaths we decided to go for the surgical option," said Dr Arvind Kumar, professor, department of surgery.

Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are treatments usually considered for almost all types for tumours but doctors say, using it in thymus tumour remains debatable because of its proximity to the heart.