Giant tumour in goldsmith’s belly stays hidden for a year in Pune

PUNE: Doctors took almost a year to figure out that a Satara goldsmith’s prominent belly had a massive tumour weighing 6.2kg. All this while, they kept suspecting that his complaints of constant bloating, constipation, weight loss and high blood sugar levels stemmed from obesity and pre-existing diabetes as well as hypertension.

The biopsy investigation confirmed it as atypical lipomatous tumour. Doctors claimed that a giant tumour was extremely rare and the goldsmith’s case was only the second reported instance.

Soft-tissue tumours, called lipomas, can easily hide in the abdomen and get passed off as belly fat. “There was no space available to dissect or go around the tumour as it was almost like a 6.2kg soft fluid bag tightly packed into the abdominal cavity,” said chief surgeon Dr Shahshank Shah , who led the team of doctors for the complex surgery.

Dr Shah performed the complex surgery at the Lapara Obeso Centre in Pune on November 11.

The tumour grew from the back of the abdomen. “Due to the tumour, all his intestines were pushed to the left side and were totally compressed in just less than 30% space of the left side of the abdomen,” Dr Shah said.

The tumour had also besieged the main vessels providing blood supply to the legs and the organs in the pelvic region and testis. Besides, the man’s body weight had gone down to just 40kg since he could not eat well. The tumour had compressed the stomach to an extent that it could not accommodate food.

The control of diabetes had become a challenge since the intake and absorption of food were unpredictable.

“That also explained why despite taking anti-diabetic medications, the man’s blood sugar levels would remain above 300mg/dL prior to the surgery,” Dr Shah said.

The procedure took around three hours. “Blood loss was less than 100ml. Due to this, his haemoglobin level dropped by 1.5 since the tumour itself contained about 500-700ml of blood and fluid in it,” associate surgeon Dr Sushil Kharat said.

The patient started walking after 24 hours of the surgery and went home on fourth day. “After the removal of the massive tumour, his BP normalized without medications. This is because the surgery has leased the tumour’s compression on kidney vessels which raised his BP,” Dr Sandip Mutha , part of the team, said.

“I am feeling way better and my food intake has also improved after the surgery,” the patient said.