Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 19 September 2019

Doctors forced to break patient's ribs to remove 1.3kg tumour

Patient has to have kidney and spleen removed so doctors can gain access to his massive tumour

Mohammed Suman had a 1.3kg tumour removed from his abdomen at Rashid Hospital. Satish Kumar for The National 
Mohammed Suman had a 1.3kg tumour removed from his abdomen at Rashid Hospital. Satish Kumar for The National 

Doctors in Dubai had to break the ribs of a man to remove what they described as the largest tumour of its kind that they had seen in 10 years.

Mohammed Suman, 45, had been suffering from high blood pressure, high blood sugar, fatigue and nausea for almost 10 years until his employers at Dubai’s Dry Docks insisted he see a doctor.

Mr Suman, from Bangladesh, was referred to Rashid Hospital on July 1. After a series of tests, doctors discovered a massive tumour that was pushing the organs in his abdomen to the left side of his body.

“I have been receiving treatment for high blood pressure for the past four years, but the symptoms caused by this tumour had started as I recall, around ten years ago,” said Mr Suman.

“Now I believe that I might have been living with this tumour for the past 10 years of my life."

Doctors diagnosed pheochromocytoma, a rare type of non-cancerous tumour that develops in the adrenal gland and causes increased hormone production - which can lead to high blood pressure.

Untreated, a pheochromocytoma can result in severe or life-threatening damage to other body systems, particularly the cardiovascular system.

Mr Suman underwent numerous tests and was put on a pre-surgery programme for two weeks before his surgery on July 30.

Mohammed Suman had a 1.3kg tumour removed from his abdomen at Rashid Hospital. Satish Kumar for The National 
Mohammed Suman holds up a photo of the tumour he had removed from his abdomen. Satish Kumar for The National

“It was a very challenging five-hour operation,” said Dr Ali Khammas, the head of surgery at Rashid Hospital.

“It was very dangerous to conduct due to the tumour’s size and proximity to major vessels and major organs. It was very vascular, containing so many vessels, and it was bleeding profusely during surgery,” he said.

To get to the tumour safely, doctors had to carefully break two of Mr Suman’s ribs, then remove his kidney and spleen.

“The tumour weighed 1.3kg and was about 17cm in diameter. It was bigger than the liver, which is the biggest organ in the abdomen,” said Dr Khammas, an Emirati.

He said it was the largest tumour of its kind that the doctors had seen in the past 10 years. The tumour was so big, it had pushed Mr Suman’s kidney towards his pelvis and pressed his aorta – the body’s largest artery – out of its original position.

Dr Khammas said the tumour also displaced Mr Suman’s spleen and pressed on his stomach, causing him nausea.

“The kidney was plastered to the tumour and there was no way the tumour would be removed without removing the kidney first. And the displaced spleen was blocking surgeons’ way so it had to removed as well,” he said.

Two teams were involved in the gruelling surgery.

“These tumours don’t grow much with time. It takes years for them to grow to this size which maybe indicates that the patient had been living with it for many years,” said Dr Khammas.

Mr Suman remained in the intensive care unit of the hospital for two days after the surgery before he was moved to a standard room to recover.

Mr Suman said his previous symptoms of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, nausea and fatigue have disappeared following the successful surgery.

Updated: August 23, 2019 03:45 PM

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