A surgeon in India has removed a 4.1-pound tumor from a 31-year-old man at a government hospital in Mumbai, India.
Dr. Trimurti Nadkarni, the surgeon who conducted the operation at BYL Nair Charitable Hospital, described the tumor as the “largest in the world” based on comparative studies conducted by his team. CNN has not been able to independently verify those claims.
He added that the surgery, which took place February 14, was life-threatening and tricky, as the tumor was embedded inside the brain.
The team waited until the man was stable after surgery before making the news public.
Santlal Pal, a 31-year-old cloth vendor from a village in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, traveled to the hospital in Mumbai to seek treatment this month.
Over the past six months, what had initially been a swelling quickly morphed into a mass that was almost as big as his head, measuring 30 by 20 by 25 centimeters cubed, according to Nadkami.
The tumor’s growth had breached the man’s skull and was growing under his scalp, said Nadkarni, also professor and head of neurosurgery at the hospital.
“The basic size of the tumor was daunting,” Nadkarni said. “It was compressing the brain.”
Pressure built up within Pal’s brain and affected his optic nerve, leading him to lose his vision.
Indian patients living in rural areas often have to travel hundreds of kilometers to access comprehensive health care or even to see a licensed doctor.
Many go to seek treatment at government hospitals, which offer free high-quality treatment but are often understaffed and overburdened.
It is not yet known whether the tumor was benign or cancerous, Nadkami said, but Pal is not presenting any cancer symptoms.
He is now in recovery at the hospital and is walking around, and he has a 50% chance of regaining his vision, Nadkarni said.
“There was no other answer. When you know the tumor has to come out, you have to do it,” he said.