Doctors from New Delhi-based Lok Nayak Hospital are planning to publish medical journals on a rather rare phenomenon they came across a little over a month ago, when they surgically removed what they believed was the "largest" salivary gland tumour.
The tumour they removed was said to have weighed 420 grams, and is apparently seven times bigger than the largest tumour previously recorded.
"So far, the largest tumour reported in medical literature weighed only 87.3 grams," said Dr Vikas Malhotra, head of neck surgery at Maulana Azad College, and Associate Professor of ENT. "The tumour we removed is seven times bigger in cuboid volume and weighs 420 grams."
It was a little over a month ago, when the doctors of the Lok Nayak Hospital performed surgery on a 28-year-old man, who was suffering from the abnormally large tumour. The patient is a resident of Moradabad, and had been admitted to the hospital on the last week of May, after being quite distressed.
He was unable to swallow any form of solid food, as the trachea was blocking his oesophagus (or food pipe). He was even finding it quite difficult to swallow liquid food as well.
Later, as the tumour grew, it started blocking his trachea (or wind pipe) and he had difficulty breathing. At this stage the doctors were compelled to surgically cut into his throat and insert a breathing tube, to help him breathe. After stabilizing the patient for a few days, the doctors decided to operate on him on June 10.
Normally, in cases of salivary gland tumour, the surgeons split the lower jaw of the patient and do the operation. Later, the jaw is put back together with the help of titanium plates. However due to the extreme nature of this tumour, the doctors believed the recovery would take a long time and the dental risks involved in the recovery of the lower jaw would be big as well. Hence, they decided to cut into the patient's neck and remove the tumour. The surgery lasted for around three hours, and the patient has been breathing normally ever since.
"In this case, we did a cut in the neck to resect the tumour. Had he not been operated on time, he would have died with him being unable to breathe," said Dr Malhotra.
Till date, the largest salivary gland tumour ever recorded weighed at 87.3 grams. It was discovered at Prince of Wales Hospital in Australia.