Dubai:: A team of surgeons at Dubai Hospital have successfully removed a tumour weighing 3.5kg encircling the left kidney of an Emirati patient, Gulf News learnt on Tuesday.
Conducted in mid-April under the supervision of Dr Fariborz Bagheri, head of the urology department at the hospital, the surgery not only helped save the patient’s kidney, but also her life.
“The 46-year old Emirati lady reported to Dubai Hospital’s Emergency Room (ER) a couple of months ago, with left flank pain and abdominal distension,” Dr Bagheri told Gulf News. “On examination and following a CT (computed tomography) scan the ER team detected a big palpable mass of about 16x14cm. This kind of tumour, called a retroperitoneal sarcoma was compressing her left kidney, which had got displaced inferiorly and had rotated.”
The patient was referred to Dubai Hospital’s urology department and she was advised to have the tumour removed immediately. However, the patient wanted to travel abroad for treatment.
“Urologists abroad told her they would be able to take out the tumour, but that they would have to remove her kidney too,” added Dr Bagheri. “Any tumour this large encircling the kidney is very challenging as there is a danger of damaging the kidney. So we had a very delicate plan to completely remove the tumour. but save her kidney.”
As fate would have it, a few days before her travel, she developed trouble breathing and was again taken to the ER.
Dr Bagheri said the patient came in with a distended abdomen and was unable to walk.
“A fresh CT scan, showed increase in the size of the mass to more than double within a few weeks of the first diagnosis. The mass was displacing the left kidney by about 15cm and it was almost completely encircling the left kidney,” he added.
Going by the grimness of the situation, the patient agreed to undergo surgery for tumour excision. Several teams including vascular surgery, general surgery, anaesthesiology and cardiothoracic surgery, were involved in this advanced major surgery. The operation took about four hours and the whole mass was successfully removed intact. The left kidney was saved and it was successfully separated from the mass and reinstated in its normal position.
Upon excision, the tumour weighed about 3,550-grams with a diameter of about 30cm and upon biopsy was found to be malignant. The patient was given appropriate treatment and has since recovered and been discharged. She is said to be doing well.
What is a retroperitoneal sarcoma?
The retroperitoneum is the layer below the outer layer or peritoneum, which is the lining of the abdominal space that covers all our abdominal organs. A sarcoma is a malignant or cancerous mass and a retroperitoneal sarcoma is a rare kind of cancer that develops in the retroperitoneum in the connective tissues such as the muscle, bone, nerves, cartilage, tendons, blood vessels and the fatty and fibrous tissues. Complete removal of the cancerous mass can provide good chance of survival for a patient, according to doctors.