In a rare surgery, a malignant 24-kg tumour of the size of two footballs has been removed from the abdomen of a Tanzanian man in the national capital, doctors said on Monday. During a press conference in New Delhi, Aloyce John Jawe, a resident of Dar es Salaam, shared that he had been suffering pain in his abdomen since December 2017 and last year he underwent an "unsuccessful surgery" for removal of the tumour in his own country.
"Jawe came to the hospital in a very weak condition with a life-threatening tumour which was huge and malignant and weighed 24 kg. It was a vascular tumour which means it was getting blood supplies and therefore quite dense. We operated on him on May 31 this year and he had to be put on a ventilator for four days post-surgery," said Pradeep Jain, Director, Gastrointestinal Oncology, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh here.
The procedure took six hours during which the patient lost close to four litres of blood. And to overcome the heavy blood loss the team was prepared with blood, plasma and platelets, the doctor said.
"In order to stop the bleeding, we had to pack the bed of the tumour (which was in the pelvis) with abdominal sponges. Slow and deliberate dissection was performed to remove the tumour (measuring 36 cm x 40 cm) . It was extracted along with a segment of the small intestine and part of the urinary bladder," Jain told reporters.
The abdominal packs were removed 60 hours after the procedure and Jawe came off the ventilator support on the fourth day post-surgery, hospital authorities said.
"Within two weeks of the surgery, he has recovered and is doing well. He will be given targeted oral chemotherapy now to ensure full recovery and avoid any re-occurrence," Jain said.
Jawe said he works in the ICT sector in a state-run firm in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and is now ready to go back to his country in Africa.
"I underwent a surgery in Tanzania, but despite the long incision made in my body the doctor there could not remove the tumour. Then I read on the internet about many Africans going to India seeking treatment and coming back satisfied. So, I decided to visit India," he told reporters.
Mahipal Singh Bhanot, Facility Director, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh said, "While we have piloted several complex surgeries in the past, this case was truly rare."
He also said patients visiting India as part of medical tourism are mostly from Africa or the Middle East such as Kenya, Nigeria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Medical tourism in India, however, still remains an untapped sector," Bhanot said.