Doctors remove 132-pound tumor from woman's ovary

Doctors have removed one of the largest known ovarian tumors – weighing 132 pounds – from a 38-year-old woman at a hospital in Connecticut.

A team of 25 medical personnel, including surgeons, physicians and medical staff at Danbury Hospital in Danbury successfully removed the tumor in a single five-hour surgery, the hospital announced in a press release Thursday.

The tumor, although benign, was sitting on the patient's digestive tract, causing her to become extremely malnourished, said lead physician, Dr. Vaagn Andikyan, board-certified gynecologic oncologist and assistant professor at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine. Because the tumor was so heavy, the patient had to use a wheelchair.

Photo of the tumor:

Andikyan said in the press release that seeing a 25-pound tumor would be more expected, "but a 132-pound tumor is very rare."

"When I first walked into the examination room, I found this 38-year-old malnourished patient with a weight of 350 pounds and extensive tumor that was about 100 centimeters [39 inches] large. I saw fear in the patient's eyes. She was so hopeless, because she had seen several other doctors, and they were unable to help her," Andikyan told CNN.

The patient first sought medical attention from a gynecologist after she began quickly gaining weight – about 10 pounds a week. Shortly after seeing a doctor, a CT scan revealed a large mass on one of her ovaries.

Once under Andikyan's care, numerous other medical personnel became involved in the woman's case, including gynecologic oncologist Dr. Linus Chuang, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology for the Western Connecticut Health Network, plastic surgeon Dr. David Goldenberg, the section chief of plastic surgery at Danbury Hospital and anesthesiologist Dr. Karl Kulikowski, vice chairman of the department of anesthesia at Danbury Hospital.

According to the press release, the patient's care team was involved in "extensive pre-operative planning" and developed and practiced plans for five possible scenarios.

The tumor occupied the woman's entire abdomen and was compressing major blood vessels. Because of this, and the concern for the patient's heart, the hospital's cardiovascular experts were "instrumental to the care plan." Additionally, the operating room was prepared to accommodate a tumor of this size.

After five hours, doctors were able to perform the tumor and abdominal resection, leaving only the patient's ovary. Excess skin stretched by the tumor's growth was also removed and the patient's abdomen was reconstructed.

Pathologists are currently conducting genetic tests on the tumor to find out why it grew so quickly in only two months, the press release reported.

The patient recovered in the hospital's intensive care unit and went home two weeks after her surgery. She was expected to make a full recovery.

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