Doctors at a suburban hospital removed a golf ball-sized tumour from the heart of a 66-year-old woman.
The cardiac tumour - called atrial myxoma - was growing in Goregaon resident Geeta Modi’s left coronary artery, weaking her heart.
Dr Amit Sharma, interventional cardiologist, who performed the surgery on January 3, said that while the left atrial myxoma is known to be a common tumour of the heart, its association with a weak heart is extremely rare. “More so, such an acute presentation of the patient with cardiac rhythm disturbances (irregular heartbeat) along with the tumour is very rare. It was the biopsy report which concluded its presence,” said Dr Sharma.
Modi had started experiencing breathlessness and palpitations, and had visited her physician for a routine visit. After the physician recorded her ECG at 180-200 beats per minute (BPM) - the normal heart rate for an adult is about 60-100bpm - he referred her to Holy Spirit hospital for immediate medical intervention.
“An ECHO study (echocardiography or diagnostic cardiac ultrasound) of the heart revealed the presence of a mass object measuring 29 mm X 21mm in the left atrium. To add to the present diagnosis, the patient also had a tremendously weak heart with a very low pumping capability,” added Dr Sharma.
In an open-heart surgery, Dr Sanjeev Vichare, cardiovascular surgeon, and Dr Meera Venkatraman, anaesthetist, removed the tumour. Modi was put on a ventilator post the surgery, and made an uneventful recovery within a week.
“I was leading a very healthy and regular lifestyle, without the knowledge of the kind of cancer that was harbouring in my heart. It was indeed the timely diagnosis and treatment by the doctors and proper care helped me recover easily. Now, I am back to my usual routine,” said Modi, who goes for regular walks in the morning.