8-kg tumour removed from woman’s stomach
DNA – May 20, 2009.Deepa Suryanarayan
While carrying a pregnancy takes nine months, sixty-two-year-old Satyavati Sawant carried a cancerous tumour, a whopping eight-kilo burden, in her stomach for over two years.
Diagnosed with a rarest of rare condition called Leimyosarcoma, seen in one in a lakh cancer cases, Sawant, a resident of Kandivili, had a cancerous tumour in her small intestine which kept growing in size.
By April, the tumour measured 30x25x25 cms and had wrapped itself around the arteries that supplied blood to her small intestine. The prognosis was bad. “Surgery is the first and often the only line of treatment for such cases,” said Dr Amit Gandhi, cancer surgeon, Bombay Hospital.
On Saturday, a team of surgeons headed by Dr Gandhi successfully performed an eight-hour high-risk surgery on Sawant to remove the tumour. “It was a particularly complicated surgery. A three-dimensional CT scan revealed that the tumour was very close to the Superior Mesenteric Artery (SMA), which is the main source of blood supply to the small bowel,” said Dr Gandhi, who spent three days counseling the family to be prepared for any eventuality from massive blood-loss to inoperability to death.
“One of the options was to remove the entire tumour along with a portion of the small intestine. But this could have resulted in the short gut syndrome, where the food passes directly through the body, without the nutrients being absorbed,” he explained. Fortunately, they were able to remove the entire tumour without ‘sacrificing any organ.
Four days after surgery, Sawant, who was unable to move or even lie down earlier, is already on her feet.
“I couldn’t even look at my own feet,” recalled Sawant, who now regrets having waited so long to get the operation done. “I was very scared. I had approached Nair, KEM and Tata Memorial hospital earlier, but when they mentioned a major surgery, I got frightened,” she said, adding that she is looking forward to eating fish curry, her favourite dish, after nearly two years.