A 72-year-old farmer from Bihar underwent a surgery at a private hospital here for the removal of a “coconut-sized” tumour from his thyroid gland, with doctors saying there were multiple challenges, including saving the patient’s voice.
The patient, a resident of Begusarai district of Bihar, was facing difficulties in breathing and swallowing food for the last six months, the hospital said in a statement.
The problem aggravated to such an extent that his quality of life was hampered, it said, adding that he was brought to the Department of ENT and Head, Neck Onco Surgery at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital here last month.
According to Dr Sangeet Agarwal, consultant, Head and Neck Onco Surgery at the hospital, “During the last so many years of practice, I have operated more than 250 such cases of huge thyroid tumours but this was a unique case in terms of weight and size, wherein the normal butterfly-shaped thyroid gland, which normally weighs 10-15 gm and is of 3-4 cm size, became larger than a coconut with a size of 18-20 cm.”
He said the biggest challenge was to save the voice of the patient while removing the tumour. The bilateral vocal cord nerves were saved successfully, he added.
The trachea (wind pipe) was compressed due to which a special technique for anaesthesia had to be applied, the doctor said.
“In such types of huge tumours, preservation of calcium and maintaining parathyroid glands is also a big challenge. We were able to successfully preserve all four parathyroid glands,” he said.
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ located at the base of the neck. It releases hormones that control metabolism.
The thyroid gland lies in front of the throat, which is also called the Adam’s apple.
The surgery took about three hours.