Nigerian Youth Free of Giant Tumor after Surgery at CARE Hospitals
Okelana Mayowa (19) came from Nigeria to CARE Hospitals for treatment of a gigantic tumor in his liver. He was reviewed by Prof Tom Cherian, Head, Liver Transplant at CARE Hospitals; the CT scans showed the tumor to be approximately 4000 ml in volume and 21 cm in size, right in the centre of his liver. It appeared to be a hepatocellular cancer (HCC), which does not respond well to chemo or radiotherapy. The only viable treatment option is surgery to remove the tumor, however, with a risk of disease recurrence.
Prof Cherian recounts, “At first look it appeared an impossible task. The tumor involved almost 6 out of 8 lobes of the liver and was running very close to all the crucial vessels supplying blood to this vital organ. Moreover, there was an obstruction to the flow of bile due to the tumor, resulting in high bilirubin levels (jaundice). However, given the age of the patient and the fact that without surgery his life was limited to a few months, I felt we had to try. The family was warned about the risks and with a deep faith in God we went ahead.”
The surgery was planned meticulously, with careful assessment of the patient and the residual liver. A team of around 20 medical professionals (comprising Hepatologists, Liver Transplant Surgeons, Critical Care Specialists and Anesthetists) took over 12 hours to perform the complex procedure at CARE Hospitals, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad. A satellite tumor was found after the main surgery, necessitating a secondary procedure (radio frequency ablation) to kill the residual cancer cells.
The patient was discharged and walked out on September 7, without a trace of the tumor which, incidentally, turned out to be 4 kg in weight. The histology reports confirmed the cancer to be a fibrolamellar HCC, which has a relatively good prognosis. “The dedication and hard work put in by the CARE team every time we perform something this complex, continues to fill me with great pride,” said Prof Cherian.