BENGALURU: A 63-year-old woman was jolted out of her normal life routine when she realised that her abdomen was growing in size, making her look like a pregnant woman. Although she ignored it initially, thinking it must be due to weight gain, her daughter found it strange, and they consulted a doctor. Even the doctors were surprised to see the disproportionate size of her abdomen, and suggested conducting an ultrasound. They found a 26x28 cm tumour. When they conducted a surgery, they came across a tumour of the ovary, a 12.9 kg non-cancerous mass of the size of a football.
The patient was lucky enough to have got a scan done before she started experiencing any symptoms, and the doctors did not face any challenges during the surgery, besides the fact that the cyst was huge. “Overgrown ovarian tumours pose a risk to the patient because of the potential spread into the surrounding organs, which can make its removal a complicated procedure.
But here, the patient was lucky. With the help of a CT scan, we decided to remove it, along with the uterus and ovaries. Though it was non-cancerous, the removal of such a big tumour presents the possibility of the patient developing a hypotensive attack and there is a risk of damage to the bowel or uterus. It is very rare to see ovarian tumours of this size, especially in women above the age of 60 years.
The cyst was not stuck to bowel or bladder, which made it easier for us to remove it. However, if the patient had ignored this for long, she would have developed breathing problems, which would have ended up posing a huge problem,” said Dr. Sowmya Lakshmi T V, consultant, obstetrics and gynaecology, Aster CMI Hospital. The patient was discharged within 48 hours.
The doctor also revealed that ovarian cysts are commonly found in women, and most small cysts are resolved by the body itself and do not require any medical assistance. These cysts can become more significant when they grow in size, increasing its scope for rupture, or an early sign of malignant change.
“We witness about 75-100 cases of ovarian cysts every month, out of which only 2-3 require surgical interventions,” Dr Sowmya.
Ovarian tumours are characterised by symptoms like prolonged menstruation, abdominal and lower back pain, and frequent need to visit the bathroom and not able to completely evacuate during motions. “We suggest patients above the age of 40 to undergo a regular health checkup at least once in five years to identify any irregularities like sudden weight gain/loss and address any underlying health issues,” she further added.