At the end of February, Indian surgeons announced the successful surgical removal of what could be the largest brain tumour in the world, weighing almost 2 kilograms. The report states that the mass was so large that the patient appeared to have “two heads”.
Santlal Pal, 31, had for a number of years observed this tumour protruding from his skull, although fortunately it is now ancient history. The largest brain tumour ever to be operated on was in fact successfully removed by Indian surgeons, during an extensive six hour surgery on Valentine’s Day this year. According to doctors in the BYL Nair Hospital in Bombay, in which the operation took place, the tumour was so large and prominent that it “sat like a head on top of another head”.
“It was an extremely impressive and difficult intervention”, said the head of the neurological service, Trimurti Nadkarni. The operation was scheduled to last seven hours, requiring 11 units of blood. The patient stayed on a ventilator for three days. The tumour itself weighed exactly 1.87 kg -the previous record for a tumour was 1.4 kg.
The patient is reportedly now doing well, moving around and eating normally, and he should soon recover all his sensory functions: “Before the operation, the patient had very limited vision, which should quickly improve”, adds the doctor.
According to numerous epidemiological studies, the number of brain tumours in the West is on the rise in the past ten years, although we do not fully understand why. Intense use of telephones could be implicated. Don’t hesitate to consult your doctor if you notice symptoms such as persistent or intense headaches, accompanied by nausea and vision problems.