Surgeons in Mumbai have successfully removed a 31-year-old man’s 1.8-kilogram (4-pound) brain tumor, reported to be the largest such mass ever documented.
Reaching a size larger than the patient’s actual head, the tumor was principally growing in the space between the skull and the scalp – though 10 percent was protruding into his brain. Carefully removing the mass from the surrounding brain, bone, and blood vessels required a detailed surgical plan that was formulated after reviewing both MRI and specialized CT scans of the area. The six-hour operation was led by BYL Nair Hosptial's chief of neurosurgery Dr Trimurti Nadkarni.
According to The Hindu, the tumor had been growing in the skull of Santlal Pal, a shopkeeper from Uttar Pradesh, for the past three years. Yet over the last 12 months, the tumor began to expand rapidly, and the resulting pressure in Mr Pal’s brain caused him to lose vision. If the tumor had not been removed, future growth likely would have led to lasting neurological damage and paralysis.
After the surgery was completed on February 14, Mr Pal was kept unconscious on ventilator support for three days. The news of the procedure was not made public until today because the doctors wanted to wait and see if any complications occurred. They also needed to be certain that Mr Pal’s brain was functioning normally. Though he is still blind, the team hopes that Mr Pal will regain vision as swelling in his brain, caused by the body responding to the trauma of surgery, continues to go down over time.
"Now it's a matter of recovery but he's out of danger", Dr Nadkarni told the BBC.
“We have checked all the available medical texts. We have not found any tumor as big as this,” Dr Nadkarni The Hindu.
For now, the medical professionals are uncertain what kind of tumor it was; samples have been sent away for testing to determine if the growth was malignant (cancerous) or benign.
Prior to treatment at Nair Hospital, Mr Pal and his wife Manju sought treatment at three Uttar Pradesh hospitals, but doctors at all locations told the family that the tumor was inoperable. How Mr Pal got into contact with Dr Nadkarni’s team, based 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) away in Mumbai, has not been revealed.