A month ago, a 52-year-old woman, who had been suffering from shortness of breath and fatigue for several years, arrived at Kumaran Hospital, Chennai, bleeding profusely.
Doctors, after a thorough workup, detected a 'large fibroid' growth adjoining the outer surface of the uterus, which was pressing down and causing bleeding.
The lady did not have an inkling of the intrusion of the colossal tumor - similar to the size of a watermelon - into her uterus. Since symptoms of tumors are normally linked to their location and in this case since the fibroid growth was outside the uterus, she was unable to sense it.
The doctors performed a complex abdominal surgery on the woman and removed the massive uterine growth weighing five times the size of a healthy baby. The uterus was also removed alongside the tumor to prevent regrowth.
Surgical gastroenterologist Dr. P. Shivakumar said, 'The surgery which went on for three and a half hours by itself was challenging as the fibroid, which takes blood supply to grow, had a lot of blood vessels attached to it. It was also stuck to the small bowel and omentum and was also pressing on the uterus. We had to carefully slice through and detach it.'
Dr. Mani Mekalai, who performed the surgery, expressed shock at the scan reports showing the huge fibroid. She said, 'In medical parlance, this is called a super giant uterine fibroid and the largest one removed before it in Africa weighed 9.6 kilograms (21 lbs).'
Though uterine tumors are common in women and nearly 25 percent of women in the reproductive group are prone to uterine fibroids, the unusually large size of this particular fibroid is what is intriguing as per doctors. They cited the high amount of estrogen as the likely cause of tumors of this kind.
After surgery, the woman has been discharged home and is recuperating.