A tumour weighing in at 27.8kg (roughly four stone and three pounds) has been successfully removed from a woman’s uterus in Singapore, according to BMJ Case Reports.
Uterine fibroids, or leiomyomas, are the most common type of tumour which grow in the female reproductive tract. However giant myomas, which tend to weight more than 11.4 kg, are very rare.
A 53-year-old woman was recently admitted to hospital with the latter, which had caused her breathing problems and made it hard for her to move around.
Dr Poh Ting Lim, an obstetrician gynaecologist at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Singapore, said the tumour measured 64cm across its widest point. According to Live Science, it spanned the woman’s entire abdominal and pelvic cavity, extending up to the bottom of her breastbone.
While fibroids aren’t usually cancerous and therefore don’t tend to pose a threat to health, giant myomas can prove life-threatening because they put pressure on surrounding organs such as the heart and lungs. In this case, the woman had developed restrictive lung disease, meaning she struggled to breathe.
Fibroid tumours are common and while they can be painful for some women, in most cases they do not lead to problematic health complications. In fact, some women don’t even know they have them.
Dr Clare Morrison, the GP for online doctor service MedExpress, previously told HuffPost UK: “Some estimates suggest that 30-77% of women will develop fibroids at some stage during their childbearing years. However only a third are big enough to be detected.”
Symptoms of fibroids, as they grow larger, include:
:: Abdominal pain and swelling
:: Pain in your pelvis
:: Regular urination
:: Backache or leg pain
:: Heavy periods that last a long time.
The woman’s tumour was a challenge for surgeons to remove and, in the end, she had to have a hysterectomy as well as surgery to remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Gynaecologists and plastic surgeons then worked to reconstruct her abdominal wall, which had thinned due to being stretched.
It is thought the tumour was growing for five years in total. Two months after surgery, Dr Lim said the woman was healing well.