This Woman's Mystery Weight Gain Turned Out To Be Something Much More Disturbing

Surgeons removing a growth from the abdomen. alexnika/Shutterstock

Aliyah Kovner 02 Jul 2018, 10:39

A 30-year-old Alabama woman is back on her feet several weeks after having a massive growth removed from her ovary, according to a report by the team of physicians who treated her at Jackson Hospital in Montgomery.

For months, Kayla Rahn suffered from back pain and digestive issues while her abdomen grew and grew. Family doctors brushed her concern aside, telling her she would feel better once she lost weight. Yet despite her efforts to diet, the pounds kept accumulating.

"I couldn't even walk to my car without losing my breath," Rahn told local news station WSFA.

"I legit looked like I was a solid 9 months pregnant. We went to dinner and someone asked me if I was having twins. It was frustrating and rough."

Finally, in late May – about a year after the symptoms began, Rahn’s mother brought her to Jackson’s emergency room because the pain had become unmanageable. The medical staff on duty quickly discovered that a shockingly large mass was present on one of her ovaries, dangerously compressing nearby tissue and organs. Surgery was planned for the next day.

Once the operating team had her open, they were able to determine that the watermelon-sized growth was noncancerous.

"The technical diagnosis; it was a mucinous cystadenoma. It is a benign condition," OB-GYN Dr Gregory Jones told WSFA. 

"This is one of the largest I have ever seen or certainly removed. We are very excited things went well for her.

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"Mucinous cystadenomas arise when mucous-producing epithelial cells within glandular tissue begin dividing uncontrollably. They account for about 15 percent of all ovarian tumors, and – in contrast to cancerous masses – tend to occur in younger women. An estimated 80 percent of mucinous cystadenomas are benign; in the other cases, the tumor may become malignant or borderline malignant.

It is not unheard of for these fast-growing tumors to reach weights in the double digits, but the current record appears to go to the cystadenoma that was removed from a 38-year-old Connecticut woman earlier this year. Measuring in at 60 kilograms (132 pounds) and 1 meter (3.2 feet) in diameter, the mass is said to have developed in about two months.

Despite her somewhat uncomfortable recovery, Rahn is now happily returning to her old routines. She told the Washington Post that the experience has taught her the importance of trusting your instincts and being your own advocate when it comes to medical issues.

“She was seeking help from multiple physicians, and we had missed it — as a medical community, we had missed it,” Dr Jones agreed.

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