A young woman in Mexico was surprised when she started gaining weight despite the fact that she was on a diet.
Although her legs, arms, and face were getting thinner, her stomach was growing at an alarming rate.
Within less than a year, the unnamed 24-year-old looked like she was pregnant with 10 babies — but she definitely wasn’t expecting.
Scans revealed that her enormous belly was caused by an ovarian cyst, which is now thought to be one of the largest cysts in history.
By the time she saw surgeons about her cyst, it was 70 pounds and was crushing her internal organs. Because of the size of the cyst, she had trouble eating, walking, and even breathing.
Mexico’s General Hospital took her on as a patient, where Dr. Erik Hanson Viana set out to remove the entire cyst in one surgery.
Warning: This article contains graphic surgical content, which some readers might find upsetting.
[H/T: Daily Mail]
When Dr. Erik Hanson Viana saw this young woman’s ovarian cyst, he was stunned at its size.
He knew he had to remove it, and decided to take it all out at once.
Although they could have drained the young woman’s cyst before performing surgery, they were concerned that draining it could have caused even more problems if the cyst happened to be cancerous.
Dr. Hanson explained to Daily Mail that the cyst was so large it took up 95 percent of the young woman’s abdomen, making even daily activities a challenge.
The cyst measured almost 20 inches across and 61 inches around.
“When I met her, she could just about walk a couple of steps before getting agitated and feeling like she was struggling to breathe because the cyst was crushing her lungs,” Dr. Hanson told Daily Mail. “If we hadn’t operated it would have gotten to the point where she wouldn’t have been able to walk, she would be severely malnourished and unable to eat. It’s hard to say how long she would have lived, but it would have been a really bad quality of life.”
The surgery, which took five full hours to complete, was successful: Dr. Hanson was able to remove the entire cyst safely and without puncturing it.
Although the patient has a long scar on her abdomen, it is a small price to pay for getting her quality of life back.
To see the surgeons working hard to remove the woman’s cyst, click on the blurred photo below.
Warning: Graphic surgical content.
Dr. Hanson explained why the surgery was so necessary for this patient:
Since the cyst had become so large, it had started to compress her intestines and was preventing her from eating.
She would be full after eating a tiny bit of food and because of the cyst’s size, it was harder for food to pass from the stomach.
The cyst was also compressing the two main vessels in the body since is a vein and an artery, which could have led to serious heart problems.
To see the 73-pound cyst after surgery, click the blurred photo below.
Warning: Graphic surgical content.
Because the surgery was successful, the young woman was able to recover quickly.
Dr. Hanson explained to Daily Mail:
Two days after surgery, she walked out of the hospital.
Before, she was used to carrying 73 lb (33kg) inside her because of the cyst, so movement was like she was levitating or walking on the moon.
When we saw her six months after surgery to see how the scar was healing and monitor for other problems, she was fully healed. She was standing completely straight.
She now walks like a normal person without needing a walking stick or other mobility aides, and her abdomen is now flat.
Many women experience ovarian cysts throughout their life and never even know it.
Ovarian cysts are common and are usually painless and harmless, explains WebMD.
Ovarian cysts are most common in women who still get their period, and women who are pregnant.
Normally, ovarian cysts go away without treatment.
Ovarian cysts can become problematic when they get larger and don’t go away on their own.
Mayo Clinic explains that the following symptoms can be signs of more problematic ovarian cysts:
- Pelvic pain before your period begins or ends
- Pelvic pain during sex
- Pelvic pain that feels like a dull, radiating ache
- Pelvic pain or pressure during bowel movements
- Heaviness in your abdomen
- Unexplained pressure on your bladder
- Inability/difficulty to empty your bladder completely
- Breast tenderness, nausea, or vomiting, like one might experience during pregnancy
If you think you may have an ovarian cyst, consult your doctor.
If you have sudden or severe pelvic or abdominal pain, or pain that is accompanied by vomiting or a fever, you should seek immediate medical attention.
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