Doctors at the All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) recently removed the world's largest goiter from a 60-year-old woman; the goiter weighed 2.91 kilograms.
A resident of Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, Noorjahan came to the AIIMS with a very large lump in the neck region in May. The doctors carried out a series of tests including X-ray, CT scan, thyroid functioning tests after which they decided on a surgery that took place on June 8 -- but with a different technique.
"Noorjahan was suffering from the problem for the past 20 years. She did not have any major problem in eating, breathing and was without any pain but it was putting pressure on nearby organs, causing heaviness and breathing problems," said Dr. Pratyusha Priyadarshini, senior resident doctor at the AIIMS' surgery department.
"In such cases, the patient is usually put on anesthesia and then a tube is inserted in the tracheas for airway management. But here we wanted to insert the tube into her trachea while she was awake because of the narrowing of the trachea and then later put on anesthesia," Dr. Priyadarshini told the media.
Calling the surgery a challenging one, Dr. S. Chumber, Professor, Department of Surgery, said: "The major problem was that the size of the goiter was very large that compelled us to modify the surgical techniques. The trachea, esophagus, recurrent laryngeal nerve of both sides and the main vessels of the neck were close to the thyroid."
He further said that to avoid any damage to the trachea, a temporary tracheotomy was done, in which a tube was inserted in the windpipe to assist her in breathing. Finally, the six-hour surgery was successful and doctors removed the goiter. She remained in observation until she recovered completely.