It started as a pimple: doctors want to remove a five-kilo tumor from a boy's face
A huge tumor grows on the face of a teenager from Cuba. Now doctors in the United States want to free the boy from the over five-pound growth. The swelling the size of a basketball could otherwise suffocate him.
The tumor grew within a few months
In the US, doctors want to remove a 14-year-old boy from Cuba from the face of a basketball-sized tumor. The tumor started about two years ago when the boy reached puberty, as a kind of pimple on the left side of his nose. This grew into a fleshy mass within a few months. Now the growth is about ten pounds. Although the tumor is benign or not cancerous, its weight could break the boy's cervical spine and suffocate him, reports the newspaper "Miami Herald".
Tumor is life-threatening due to its weight
According to the newspaper report, 14-year-old Emanuel Z. is malnourished because it is difficult for him to eat and swallow. He will soon be released from his tumor.
Dr. Robert Marx of the University of Miami Health System and a surgeon team will operate on him.
"Because of its weight, it is life-threatening," said Marx at a press conference. "If nothing is done," the doctor said, "it will cause his neck to break."
Marx said he first heard about Emanuel's case at a medical conference where a group of missionaries presented X-rays and photos of the boy.
"Nobody knew what it was," said Marx.
Boy suffers from rare illness
But Marx realized what the boy was suffering from, having previously operated on patients with large facial tumors, including Marlie Casseus, a Haitian woman who had had a 16-pound tumor removed from her face more than a decade ago.
Emanuel was born with a rare condition called fibrous dysplasia, in which his body developed scar-like tissue instead of bone. The disease often causes fractures and deformities of the arms, legs and skull.
His mother Noel explained that her boy's disease was diagnosed at the age of two, but doctors in Cuba would not risk surgery on Emanuel's facial tumor.
The patient will be able to breathe and see better again
In about two weeks, the surgery will now take place at Jackson’s Holtz Children’s Hospital in Miami. The complex operation is expected to take around twelve hours. The boy's nose should also be reconstructed so that he can breathe easily.
As Marx explained, the surgical team had to be very careful when removing the tumor so that it did not return.
After that, Emanuel will need further surgery to reconstruct his cheek, jaw, and other parts of his face and to implant artificial teeth.
The first thing the young patient will notice after the tumor is removed is that his eyesight improves, the doctor explained. According to Marx, the boy's eyes are working well, but the tumor has blocked much of his vision.
"He will also be able to breathe much better," said Marx. And: "He will be able to eat much better."
Removal of giant tumors
For years, the removal of gigantic tumors has been reported time and again. In 2015, for example, a man from Madagascar had an eight kilogram tumor removed from his face.
And in 2013, a 17-kilo tumor of a patient's ovaries was removed in the women's clinic at the Lübbecke-Rahden hospital (North Rhine-Westphalia).
The world's largest tumor removed by surgery weighed 90 kilograms. This was removed in early 2012 by an international team of doctors in a 13-hour operation on a man from Vietnam. (ad)