Surgeons remove 'heaviest recorded' brain tumour

Surgeons remove 'heaviest recorded' brain tumour

Surgeons at the civic-run BYL Nair Hospital last Wednesday removed a brain tumour weighing 1.8kg from a 31-year-old man.

The patient, Santlal Pal, 31, hailing from Pali village in Bhadohi in Uttar Pradesh, had been admitted with progressive swelling of his scalp, heaviness, constant headaches and loss of vision in both eyes for the past one year.

His scalp had swelled to 30 x 30 x 20 cm and appeared as if he had two heads on top of each other. "The tumour in Pal's head grew so much because his surgery was delayed", said Dr Srikant Balasubramaniam, who is with Nair Hospital's neurosurgery department.

The previous heaviest tumour to be successfully excised from a patient who survived the procedure was three pounds. It weighed 1.3 kg (2.8 pounds).

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According to some doctors in Nair Hospital, the tumour could be the largest to be removed from a brain in medical literature globally.

"The patient has made good recovery and is now ambulatory and on full diet", he said. "Before the surgery, he had minimal vision, which may improve now", Nadkarni said. Doctors said the tumour had cost Mr. Pal his vision, but hoped he would gradually regain his eyesight.

The tumor had been growing on Pal's head for three years now, and suddenly became so massive over the past year.

The primary investigation revealed growth had spread to both sides of the brain through the skull bone.

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Pal is shown before undergoing surgery to remove the brain tumour.

He said the operation took seven hours to complete and the patient required 11 units of blood.

Dr Nadkarni added: "Such large tumours are rare and are a surgical challenge". There is a heavy blood loss and this requires great team skill in perioperative monitoring for a successful result. But now it is gone: Doctors successfully removed the mass during an intensive, six-hour operation on Valentine's Day. He feels relieved of "a large burden on his head"'. "We could not spend a lot", his wife Manju said.

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