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Doctors at RML remove a 5 kg tumour a woman’s arm

The woman was suffering from a condition called neurofibroma that caused small tumours to grow all over her body. The one on her arm started growing and became like a bag weighing 5 kgs

india Updated: Feb 21, 2017 13:50 IST
Hindustan Times
RML,5kg Tumor,Ram Manohar Lohia hospital
Geeta Nayya (47) has a condition called neurofibroma, a tumour of the nerve cell sheath that is usually not cancerous(Anonna Dutt)

Geeta Nayya, 47, has been doing her chores with one hand for several years because she could barely move her right hand that had a web-like 5-kg tumour hanging from it.

When she was 8-years-old, a small scar on her hand started growing and after she got married, her father did not bother with getting it treated. Over the years, the tumour kept on growing and became like a bag covering her entire arm.

Geeta, who lives in Kolkata, finally got the tumour removed at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia hospital in Delhi. “My son works in Delhi, he got me here for treatment. I had grown quite used to moving around with the tumour, but I had to be careful as the skin is so thin on the tumour that it starts bleeding even if there is a slight scratch,” said Geeta, who had her surgery on February 15.

  • Geeta had a huge tumour hanging like a bag from her right arm
  • The tumour weighed 5 kg after removal
  • She has a condition called neurofibroma, a tumour of the nerve cell sheath
  • The condition causes her to have small tumours all over her body
  • There are chances one of her other tumours starts growing
  • The blood vessels feeding the tumour had dilated and become bigger, the doctors had to prevent excessive bleeding
  • Closing up was difficult as the doctors had removed a lot of tissue from all over the arm
  • The doctors used a skin graft from her thigh to close the cut

She has a condition called neurofibroma, a tumour of the nerve cell sheath that is usually not cancerous. The condition is not very uncommon, between 1 in 5,000-10,000 people have it.

However, the tumours usually do not grow so big.

“In these cases, the tumours are very visible and sometimes on the face too. So, people usually get it removed early on. The tumours are not cancerous, but it cause disability by restricting movement. The weight of the tumour causes imbalance, puts pressure on the spine causing pain and change in gait,” said Dr Samik Bhattacharya, cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon at RML hospital.

She has several small tumours all over her body, although none have grown so big. “We don’t need to and cannot remove all her tumours as they are scattered all across her body. However, there is a chance that another one of her tumour starts growing spontaneously,” said Dr Bhattacharya.

It was a challenging surgery for the doctors too. “The blood vessels in her hand had enlarged as they had to supply blood to the huge tumour. During the surgery, we had to ensure that she did not bleed out. So, we had to use a special clamp,” said Dr Bhattacharya.

“The closure of the cut was also difficult because we had removed enormous amount of tissue; the tumour had spread on the entire arm. We had to use skin graft from the thigh,” he said.

First Published: Feb 21, 2017 13:49 IST