Twenty surgeons labored for five hours to remove a 132-pound ovarian tumor from a woman’s abdomen – in one of the biggest tumor removals ever performed.
The 38-year-old patient had been left wheelchair-bound and starving by the benign mucinous ovarian tumor, which was suffocating her digestive tract as it grew at a rate of 10 pounds a week.
The removal, performed in one go in February at Connecticut’s Danbury Hospital, took two weeks to plan due to its scale and proximity to almost all of her vital organs.
It was a success, and within two weeks the patient was discharged, expected to make a full recovery.
Now, the surgeons are studying the tumor to understand how it grew so rapidly.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
This is a picture of the woman going into surgery at Danbury Hospital in February with her 132-pound benign ovarian tumor, one of the biggest ever removed
‘I saw desperation in this lady’s eyes,’ lead surgeon Dr Vaagn Andikyan, a gynecologic oncologist, told SF Gate.
‘She felt that nobody could help her, and when I informed her, “Yes, ma’am, there is a good chance you will be back to normal,” she felt much better.’
He added: ‘I might expect to see a 25-pound ovarian tumor, but a 132-pound tumor is very rare.
‘I wanted to help her, and I knew that we could at Danbury Hospital.’
Ovarian tumors are notoriously difficult to spot, because their symptoms tend to mimic other, less serious conditions, like menstrual cramps or indigestion.
This patient’s tumor, a mucinous tumor, is fairly common, accounting for more than a third of ovarian tumors. They are particularly common among smokers and past smokers.
The vast majority of them (75 percent) are benign, as was the case with this one.
The difference between mucinous tumors and other ovarian tumors is that these tend to be filled with mucus, making them (typically) very large and heavy.
The 20-strong team of surgeons spent two weeks preparing for the five-hour operation
The woman was discharged two weeks later and is expected to make a full recovery