Published: Fri, February 23, 2018
Medical | By Alyssa Little

Doctors in India remove brain tumor big as a 'second head'

Doctors in India remove brain tumor big as a 'second head'

Nair hospital on Saturday removed a tumour from his brain, weighing 1.873 kg, in a seven-hour surgery.

Uttar Pradesh resident, 31-year-old Santlal Pal, a cloth vendor was unaware of the largest tumor that was growing in his head and lived with it for six years.

A dailywage labourer with a head tumour measuring 30 cm x 30 cm x 20 cm - so large it seemed "like a head on top of another head" - was operated upon in Mumbai's BYL Nair Hospital on February 14.

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"In fact, the tumour was much bigger than his own head", said neurosurgeon Dr. Trimurti Nadkarni, who performed the surgery with a five-member team. The weight of a similar case reported earlier has been 1.4 kgs.

After cross-checking medical records, surgeons reached a conclusion that they had removed the world's largest brain tumour, surpassing the previous record set by Nadkarni. The patient has recovered well and is on a full diet. Nadkarni said that Pal was fortunate that only 10 percent of the tumor's body was inside the brain, lest the surgery would have been aborted from the start.

The tumour was found to have invaded the brain on both sides of the midline through the skull bone of the patient, said Nadkarni.

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Fungai Nyapopoto, 40, a street vendor who travelled to pay his respects, said: "I am mourning our great hero , a man of the people".

Pal is shown before undergoing surgery to remove the brain tumour.

Pal needed a transfusion of 11 units of blood and then spent three days on life support afterwards but has since made a good recovery.

"Such tumours are rare and pose quite a challenge due to blood loss". Doctors said pressure applied by the mass of flesh on Mr. Pal's brain led to loss of vision. The doctors said that the tumor resulted in Pal losing his eyesight but hoped that he would regain his vision now.

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According to a reportby the BBC, the news of the surgery was not made public immediately because the doctors were unsure of its success. "We are praying that he regains his vision", Pal's wife told the Hindu. "He feels relieved of "a large burden on his head", said Dr Ramesh Bharmal, dean, BYL Nair Hospital.

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