4-kilo tumour removed from Nigerian’s kidney

Updated on May 29, 2009 12:16 AM IST

A 4-kilo cancerous tumour was removed from the left kidney of a 23-year-old Nigerian at Moolchand Hospital on May 8. The surgery took five hours, reports Rhythma Kaul.

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Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi

A 4-kilo cancerous tumour was removed from the left kidney of a 23-year-old Nigerian at Moolchand Hospital on May 8. The surgery took five hours.

Since a normal kidney weighs about 300 gm, the tumour had enlarged the left kidney so much that it occupied almost half the abdomen, crushing the other organs.

To stop cancer from spreading further, the left kidney had to be removed.

The patient was Linguistics and Communications student Akani Chimenem Paul, who is also a classical singer.

Paul had been suffering from renal cancer for the past three years and being treated at a hospital in Nigeria.

In November last year, surgeons in Nigeria told her they would operate to remove the cancerous growth. After cutting open her abdomen, however, they decided the surgery was too complicated and declared her inoperable.

“Normally, kidney has only one source of blood, but cancer has the tendency of sucking out blood supply from other parts of the body. As a result, Paul’s kidney had become highly vascular, and if operated upon in that condition, she would have bled to death,” said Dr Shanti Vardhan, senior consultant, oncosurgery at Moolchand, under whose care Paul is undergoing treatment.

When Paul came to Moolchand for a second opinion in April this year, the biggest challenge before the doctors was to reduce blood-loss during surgery. Doctors opted for pre-operative renal artery embolisation— blocking the flow of blood to the kidney — to reduce the blood loss during surgery. “We managed to cut down the blood supply by 80 per cent and completed the surgery with only four units of blood,” said Dr Ashwin Garg, consultant, Centre for Interventional Radiology at the hospital, who did this pre-op procedure.

A part of the pancreas also had to be removed because the tumour had invaded it.

“The dense adhesions due to the previous failed surgery added to the complication. We had to struggle a bit to reach out to the affected area,” said Dr SV Kotwal, urosurgeon at the hospital.

According to her doctors, Paul is progressing well, and if she continues to progress like that, she will be fit to be discharged in a week.

Too weak to express her happiness in words, Paul managed to flash a smile on hearing about being discharged.

“I can’t thank God enough. It is all because of Him that I have got my daughter back. She’s got a second life. I feel much better now,” said her mother Stella O Ichenwo, who has accompanied Paul to India for the surgery.


    Rhythma Kaul works as an assistant editor at Hindustan Times. She covers health and related topics, including ministry of health and family welfare, government of India.

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