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Woman Has 70-Pound Tumor Removed From Uterus (Photos)

| by Michael Howard

Doctors in Guatemala removed a 70-pound tumor from a woman's uterus, the largest ever recorded. (Warning: Graphic images.)

The unnamed 40-year-old woman had been carrying around the massive tumor for seven years, but refused treatment for cultural reasons, according to the Daily Mail.

When she finally went to the hospital to have the mass removed, it looked as though she were pregnant with several babies. Her stomach had a circumference of 137 centimeters.

Seven years ago doctors had diagnosed the woman problem with leiomyoma, a benign tumor that almost never becomes malignant. Leiomyoma is also known as fibroid.

Images of the record-breaking tumor were uploaded by a medical student to Figure 1, a website where doctors and nurses can anonymously discuss medical cases.

"This patient was seen seven years ago and was offered surgical treatment, but because of personal and cultural background, she refused treatment," the uploader explained, adding, "we face [these problems] on a daily basis with patients from the rural areas of our country."

She described the operation as a success and said the patient made a full recovery.

"No further surgical interventions were required, but she did go to ICU post op for about 3 days and required multiple blood transfusions. She responded better than expected and was discharged sixth day post op."

Fellow users of the website expressed shock at the tumor's size.

"My mouth dropped open and stayed that way for quite a while once I swiped to the second picture! Speechless!" a nurse wrote after seeing the images, according to the Daily Mail. "The human body is so amazing."

A sonographer warned that there's a chance the mass could return.

"Since it's a leiomyoma, if she didn't have a hysterectomy, it might grow back," they wrote. "If she was postmenopausal, there's less chance of her growing another since they are sensitive to hormones."

The Guinness Book of World Records lists the heaviest recorded leiomyoma as having weighed 66 pounds, 2 ounces. It was removed in December 2005 by a surgical team headed by Dr, Pushpanjali Malipatil in Raichur, Karnataka, India.

The Guatemalan woman's tumor was 4 pounds heavier.

In 2015, a doctor in Mesa, Arizona, set a world record for the largest malignant ovarian tumor -- 17 centimeters -- removed by laparoscopic surgery, meaning the incision was smaller than a dime. It was Dr. Greg J. Marchand's second record-setting operation.

In 2008, he made the Guinness Book of World Records after removing a 7-pound uterus using the same type of procedure.

Marchand, who overcame testicular cancer in 2010, said he believes that minimally invasive surgery is the key to keeping up a patient's morale.

"I want my patients to have that feeling of being ready to fight," he told the Phoenix New Times. "They can win this, and that was definitely my motivation here. I'm hoping it will bring attention to minimally invasive surgery."

Sources: Daily Mail, Phoenix New Times / Featured Image: CMSRC/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Figure 1 via Daily Mail

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