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Doctors Remove Tumour from Heart in a Rare Surgery

In a rare surgery, doctors at the Wockhardt Hospital, Bangalore, have removed a large cancerous tumour from a 22-year-old patient's heart.

The hospital said in a statement that Prabhu Ram was diagnosed to be ailing from a primitive neuroectodermal tumour (PNET) of the heart. It led to difficulty in breathing, high fever and swelling of the face.

"Ram had a potentially deadly, cancerous tumour arising from both the upper chambers of the heart, blocking the blood flow into the chambers and the right lung," Wockhardt's cardiovascular surgeon N.S. Devananda, who performed the surgery Thursday, told IANS.

Terming it a rare case, as such tumours rarely occur in the heart, Devananda said there were very few similar cases reported in medical literature worldwide.

He said PNET commonly occurs in the brain and the chest walls and there was no identifiable cause known to trigger off the growth of this tumour in the heart.

"It took us over five hours to remove the tumour measuring 8 x 10 x 12 cm along with a large part of both the upper chambers (left and right atria) and reconstruct the heart.

"It has been technically challenging and creative operative procedures for us. The chance of the tumour recurring is less but cannot be ruled out because it is cancerous in nature. We will, however, put Ram through chemo and radio therapy."

Cardiac surgeon Murali Manohar, who coordinated the surgery, said the patient's atria was rebuilt with his own pericardium, the outer covering of the heart, creating passive, bag-like receptacles to channel blood returning from the lungs into the ventricles, the heart's main pumping chambers.

"The newly constructed heart is responding to the treatment and functioning well," said Manohar.


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