By Bilal Kuchay
Doctors in Pakistan have removed a massive tumour from a teenager’s hip – after it grew to more than five stones.
The tumour which had left Muhammad Essa Pallari, 18, from Nooriabad in Karachi, Pakistan, completely bedridden was removed by a team of four surgeons in a four-hour long surgery in Karachi’s Dr Ruth Pfau Hospital on Wednesday.
Surgeons, who carried out the “complicated” surgery, claim they have never seen such a massive tumour being removed in the country before.
Dr Naushad Sheikh said: “In my entire career, I’ve never seen such a massive tumour being removed from any patient in Pakistan.
“It was a very complicated surgery and took us four hours to remove the tumour, weighing almost 35kg, from the patient’s hip.
“The tumour was infectious and there were chances the infection could spread to other parts as well. So, in the first phase of the surgery, we removed the tumour covering his hip only.
“In the second phase of surgery, which would be performed after a gap of at least a month, we will remove the tumour covering his thigh.”
Born to parents Allah Dino, 52, and Khatija Pallari, 42, Essa was quite normal till the age of 13.
However, five years ago he started showing signs of plexiform Neurofibromatosis – a genetic disorder that affects the normal growth and development of cell tissue.
He first noticed swelling in his right thigh in the form of a mass not bigger than a table tennis ball.
The poverty-stricken family ignored the tumour and it kept growing. In past one year it grew to an enormous size covering his entire thigh and hip.
The condition had caused his right leg above the knee to swallow to such an extent that he was unable to walk or stand on his feet and was left completely bedridden.
However, earlier this month a social activist named Zulfiqar Solangi posted Essa’s pictures on Facebook and asked people to help.
Local Government officials then intervened and offered him free treatment. He was transported to Dr Ruth Pfau Hospital in Karachi in an ambulance last week.
Essa’s father Allah Dino, who works as a tractor driver and earns a mere £4 a day, says: “We are very thankful to doctors that they have successfully removed the tumour.
“We had lost all hopes that our son will not be able to walk again but we are hopeful that our son will lead a normal life now.”
WHAT IS PLEXIFORM NEUROFIBROMA?
Plexiform Neurofibromas are, in most cases, benign tumours of the peripheral nerves, also called a peripheral nerve sheath tumour (PNST).
They are caused by genetic mutations.
The tumour may arise from the nerves underneath the skin surface, or from nerves deep within the body. They can occur anywhere in the body and grow to fairly large sizes.
The frequent sites include the head and neck region, arms, legs, chest, and abdomen.