In what could be a first in the country, a 20kg tumour was removed from the stomach of a 50-year-old woman at a city hospital.
Doctors at Cama and Albless hospital in Fort where she was operated upon say they have never seen such a huge tumour and it is possibly the heaviest tumour successfully removed in the country. They now want to send the case study for publishing in a medical journal.
“When Shobha Kolhe met us in December, she was suffering from severe breathlessness. Her stomach was so bloated that she looked like a pregnant woman carrying four-five kids,” Dr Rajshri Katke, medical superintendent of Cama and who headed the operating team, said.
Many hospitals refused her admission as she was frail and considered a high risk patient. “I had recurrent fever and weakness since July. A local doctor gave me some medicines and I felt better,” Kolhe said. “But suddenly my stomach started bloating. We did not have the money to get a CT scan or sonography done.”
She was mentally harassed too, the woman said. Neighbours taunted her for being “pregnant at this age”. “They thought I was carrying... I used to cry in private. Also, I was afraid that I would die because all doctors told me that I had no chance of surviving.”
At Cama hospital, doctors took her up for surgery after the tumour showed up in a CT scan. The tumour originated from her ovaries and was attached to the abdominal wall, intestines, and liver. It pushed her diaphragm, making her breathless. “Never in my medical practice have I seen such a huge tumour. We were worried because she was so fragile,” Katke said. “The operation went on for 90 minutes. She was lucky that the tumour was not cancerous.” Kolhe will be discharged on Monday.
Experts say Kolhe had a mucinous cystadenocarcinoma of the ovary, a rare malignant form of ovarian mucinous tumours. This type accounts for 5-10% of all ovarian mucinous tumours.
“Giant benign ovarian tumours are a rarity nowadays because most cases are detected early during routine check-ups,” Katke said. “Ovarian cysts can turn malignant but fortunately most are benign.”
Dr Sudeshna Ray, consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician, Jaslok hospital, said: “Ovarian tumour has the tendency to grow faster and bigger... But 20kg is unheard of and unbelievable.”
Dr Ashwini Bhalerao Gandhi, consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician at PD Hinduja hospital, said: “We have seen several big tumours but not 20kg. This is certainly unheard of and happened because the family delayed taking medical help. She is lucky that the tumour was not cancerous.”