NOIDA: Doctors at a city hospital removed a giant tumour, weighing about seven kilogrammes, from the chest of a 31-year-old man, thus providing him with a fresh lease of life.
The surgery, which doctors claimed was "extremely challenging", was conducted earlier this month.
The neurogenic tumour, arising from nerves within the patient's chest, had grown to an enormous size. The resulting pressure, due to displacement and compression of the heart, major blood vessels and the food pipe, was intense as the tumour pressed against these organs, said Dr Vaibhav Mishra, senior consultant at Department of Cardio-Thoracic and Vascular Surgery at Fortis Hospital.
"These tumours can be benign or cancerous growing in the area of the chest that separates the lungs. This area, called the mediastinum, is surrounded by the breastbone in front, the spine at the back, and the lungs on each side," said Mishra.
Surgery in such cases is extremely challenging and risks arising from the tumour include damage to major structures like the heart, aorta, food pipe and spinal cord as the tumour adheres to these structures.
"These tumours are quite rare and when they are of this size, they are termed 'Giant Schwannomas'. The biggest challenge is to remove them completely, without causing collateral damage to neighbouring organs.
"The tumour was arising from one of the nerves originating from the spinal cord. It was eroding the vertebral column and if not removed in time, it could have led to major complications including compression of vital structures, nerve palsy, malignant changes, extreme weakness or paralysis of the lower limbs," said Dr Manish Vaish, senior consultant of Neuro Surgery.
Research reveals that five out of 41 (12 per cent) patients have neurogenic tumours. Intra-thoracic neurogenic tumours occur predominantly in the mediastinum (90 per cent). It is often impossible to establish the benign or malignant nature of these tumours, prior to surgery.
"Therefore, a wide surgical resection remains the cornerstone of such treatment and often requires the co-operative efforts of a multidisciplinary team of thoracic, plastic, and neurosurgeons," Mishra added.