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Maharashtra: 8.5 kg spleen removed from 37-year-old man

Thane (Maharashtra), June 7: In a record feat, doctors at the Wockhardt Hospitals in Mira Road here successfully removed a giant 8.5 kg spleen from a 37-year-old man’s abdomen, ending his 17 years’ suffering, an official said here on Friday. The enlarged spleen taken out measures 3-feet x1.5 feet, 90 cms size and weighing a massive 8.5 kg. The previous world record in the Guinness Book stands as a spleen of 73.66 cms and weighing 2.3 kgs, said a hospital spokesperson.

Wockhardt Hospitals’ Mira Road Consultant Surgeon Dr. Imran Shaikh said that the patient, Rajkumar Tiwari underwent a surgery lasting six hours with no pre or post operative complications, he recovered well and after all his parameters were normal, was discharged after 5 days. Explaining the challenges, Dr. Shaikh said that the patient had been suffering from a condition called massive splenomegaly and hypersplenism through splenectomy since the age of 18. He had symptoms like abdominal tightness, pains, fatigue and eventually restricted his movements and prevented him from performing normal activities.

“Massive splenomegaly with hypersplenism is a rare disorder, and due to the enormous size of the spleen and its over-function, carries a risk to the patient. Enlarged spleen starts killing blood cells prematurely leading to low Haemoglobin, white blood cells (WBC), and platelet count,” said Shaikh. Due to severely low Haemoglobin, Tiwari had severe weakness, a low White blood corpuscles count, and a poor defence mechanism which made him prone to infections, and a very low platelet count patient carries the risk of spontaneous bleeding, said the medico.

Post-surgery, Tiwari got much-needed relief from all his symptoms and resumed his daily routine without any difficulty, said Wockhardt Hospitals’ Mira Road Head Dr. Pankaj Dhamija. The problems were first noticed around 17 years ago, when Tiwari was jolted out of his daily routine due to pain in the left-side upper abdomen, and despite multiple medical treatment options, he got no relief. Over the years, as his spleen kept enlarging, his health kept deteriorating, as the spleen obstruction due to lack of space in the abdomen and intestines led to vomiting, and other related problems.

Finally, an extremely weakened, tired and pale-skinned Tiwari, who could barely walk or climb steps, was referred to Wockhardt Hospitals here, and he was diagnosed with splenomegaly. “He was suffering like this for a year, and more in the past month, and we performed all tests and CT scans to confirm the diagnosis. The spleen is located on the left side of the abdomen and filters blood by removing old, malformed, or damaged red blood cells,” said Dr. Shaikh. An enlarged spleen is a common occurrence that reduces the number of healthy red blood cells, platelets, and white cells in a person’s bloodstream, leading to frequent infections, but when it grows bigger and 20 cms and weighs over 1000 gms, its known as a Massive splenomegaly.

Since Tiwari had a very low blood count, the blood and blood products given to him pre-surgery would die immediately in the spleen, and with a very low platelet count, the operation could be life-threatening, Dr. Shaikh added. After blocking the main blood supply to the spleen by putting coils in the artery to avoid killing the transfused blood projects and increase the safety margin, he was wheeled for surgery the next day.

Tiwari’s abdomen was opened and the medical team saw that it was crushing the intestines, pancreas, diaphragm and stomach, so it was carefully separated and the surgery carried out successfully. “After 17 years of struggle, the massive weight has been lifted off my body. The constant pain and discomfort that prevented me leading a normal life is now past thanks to Dr. Shaikh and his team,” said a grateful Tiwari.

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