50 kg tumour removed from woman’s abdomen in 3.5 hours at Delhi hospital
A 52-year-old woman from Delhi who had an unexplained rapid weight gain over the past few months was found to have a 50 kg ovarian tumour, which accounted for close to half her body weight of 106 kg.
Post-surgery, the woman’s weight has dropped to 56 kg. She has recovered from the complicated surgery and is set to be discharged from hospital on August 22.
The woman, who prefers to remain unnamed, had the tumour removed in a 3.5 hours surgery at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals. The team of surgeons said it is the largest ovarian tumour ever to be operated in the world, with the largest tumour reported to date being a case from Coimbatore, where a woman was operated for a 34 kg tumour in her ovary in 2017.
The Delhi patient began gaining weight rapidly over the past few months, which led to her experiencing breathlessness and acute pain in her lower abdomen, which led to difficulty in walking and sleeping. When the rapid weight gain didn’t stop and the associated complications increased, she consulted a neighbourhood physician, who referred her to Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals.
Diagnostic investigations revealed she had a large, progressively expanding tumour in her ovary, which was putting pressure on her intestine (intestinal adhesions), leading to acute stomach aches and inability to digest food. As a result, she had developed acute anaemia, with her haemoglobin count dropping to 6 gm/dl, against a normal of 12-15.5 gm/dl.
“The size of the tumour and patient’s exceptionally low hemoglobin made extract a challenge, and she had to undergo 6 units of blood transfusion before, during and after the procedure. That apart, there was no space in the abdomen for insertion of equipment via laparoscopy or robot assisted methods, so we performed traditional surgery with a multidisciplinary team from the gastroenterology, gynaecology and anaesthesiology teams,” said lead surgeon Dr Arun Prasad, senior consultant, surgical gastroenterology and bariatric surgery.
“The patient was admitted with complaints of stomachache, breathing stress and weight gain. She was advised immediate surgery as further growth would have put pressure on other organs, leading to possible organ failure. Fortunately, the tumour was benign and the patient had no co-morbidities, which enabled a faster recovery,” said Dr Abhishek Tiwari, consultant, surgical gastroenterology, who was part of the team that performed the surgery.
Fear of getting infected is keeping patients away from hospitals, where they are increasingly seeking treatment in advance stages of disease, which require more complex surgeries.
“Many procedures that can be done using minimally invasive techniques now need open surgery. The complications also led to longer hospital and ICU stay,” said Dr Vinod Bindal, vice chairman of minimally invasive surgery at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi.