AIIMS surgeons remove the world’s largest kidney tumour

SUTTON, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 07: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, in his role as President of the Royal Marsden NHS (National Health Service) Foundation Trust, watches as lead surgeon Pardeep Kumar, performs surgery for the removal of a bladder tumour on a male patient during a visit to the Royal Marsden Hospital on November 07, 2013 in Sutton, Greater London. (Photo by Lefteris Pitarakis - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

In what is claimed to be the first such case in the world, Indian surgeons have removed a kidney tumour weighing 5.018 kg from a patient suffering from kidney cancer along with dissection of the lungs.

“The patient’s right kidney had bloated 35 times the normal size making it the world’s biggest ever kidney tumour on record as per the medical literature. The previous record was removal of a 2.5kg (5.5lb) tumour by doctors at Sir Gangaram hospital,” said Dr M D Ray, consultant at department of surgical oncology, AIIMS.

The patient, 66-year-old K L Das, a resident of Darbhanga who has been living in Delhi for last 25 years, had approached doctors at AIIMS with a huge mass in the right side of the abdomen with discomfort and heaviness. “The mass was rapidly progressing for the last two and three months and the cancer had spread to the lungs. Surgery was the only option left before it spread to other parts of the body,” said Ray.

So, after a pre-anesthetic check up, Das was operated on May 14 through a long incision of almost 25 cm from chest to abdomen, a procedure which is called thoracoabdominal incision in medical terms. Chest was cut open and a part of rib was taken out. “The tumour was compressed to the inferior vena cava (IVC) which is the main vein of the body. The surrounding structure was stuck to the mass so that had to be separated and another important gland that is adrenal gland was spared. “That gland is important for fluid electolyte balance and metabolisnm of food. Also, it produces the sex hormone,” explained Dr Ray.

Ultimately the mass was removed along with the part of the lungs to which the cancer had spread. Chest and abdomen were closed separately and respiratory muscles were repaired. “It was five and half hour long procedure. After the operation, the patient was in the ICU for a day after which he was shifted to a general ward. He is doing well. He will be discharged tomorrow,” Dr Ray added.

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