Representational image.Creative Commons.

A Costa Rican woman had a giant tumour weighing about 34 kg removed from her ovaries in a surgery that not only vastly altered her life but saved it too!

The 57-year-old Sonia Lopez had put off the surgery for the longest time – a whole of eight years, precisely – due to 'personal reasons' as she claims, but was eventually forced to go under the knife once the growth started taking up about 80 percent of her abdominal space, crushing her intestines, liver and diaphragm.

Also read: Girl shunned by parents for giant facial tumour

Daily Mail Online reported Mrs Lopez weight dropped six stone ever since she's had the tumour removed; but she was warned an entire decade ago that the growth could lead to a heart attack eventually, due to the pressure it kept putting on the organ.

She finally had the operation at Hospital Mexico near San Jose on Monday, after suffering from severe breathing troubles. A team of five surgeons removed the 5.35 stone, five-and-half feet round growth, and her surgeon believes she broke a world record and is recovering well and awaiting results that will determine if the growth was cancerous.

The Tibas resident said, "I was very tired and felt very ill beforehand. From how I felt before to the way I feel now, it's like a journey from the sun to the Earth. I feel like I've been born again." Weighing 20 stone previously, she was advised by doctors to undergo surgery immediately when the breathing trouble showed up.

Being too large for the doctors to take a CAT scan or clear X-rays when she was admitted last Thursday, her surgeons were naturally stunned at the size of the growth. Her surgeon Pablo Sibaja said: "We see three or four giant tumours every year but never something this big."

He also shared, "This is the largest we know about in Mesoamerica. In the Guinness Book of Records, the heaviest on record is 30 kilos (4.72 stone) and this one was 34 kilos (5.35 stone). This tumour grew in such a disordered and rapid fashion in such a short space of time that we had to act quickly."

Addressing the potential dangers the tumour carried, he said: "These tumours that grow so fast are not normally malignant because if they were they would metastasize and they either need to be treated to eliminate or reduce them or they kill the patient before they have the capacity to grow so much."

Dr Sibaja also added that women are more likely to have these giant tumours because of their body structure, which is designed to carry more weight in the abdomen than men. He said: "In a man, it doesn't happen. No tumour would grow as large because his body is not capable of developing it."

One of the Costa Rican Social Security Service's spokesperson tweeted the pictures of the tumour after it had been removed and also described the procedure as 'incredible'.