This is the bulging belly of a ‘thin as a stick’ female patient whose giant 77-lb ovarian tumour occupied her entire abdominopelvic cavity and made her look like she was pregnant with triplets.
Ms Huang, 59, from the city of Shuangyashan in China’s north-eastern province of Heilongjiang, was found to have been suffering from a benign ovarian mucinous cystadenoma, which was filled almost entirely with liquid.
Her family members took her to the Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University for treatment after reportedly being turned down by other facilities which refused to treat her ‘bursting’ belly.
The patient, who was otherwise very thin, stunned medics when scans of her abdominal pelvis cavity showed the space having been fully occupied by the tumour.
Professor Li Peiling, with the hospital’s obstetrics and gynaecology department, said: “I’ve been a doctor for 38 years, and I’ve seen many large tumours, but I’d never seen one like this before.
“Scans showed a giant growth occupying her entire pelvic cavity.
“Her other organs – liver, gallbladder, spleen, kidneys – none could be seen.
“She was as thin as a stick, but her belly was very big, as if she were pregnant with twins or triplets.”
According to Ms Huang’s daughter, the tumour was allowed to grow because her mother refused to seek medical attention when they first noticed her belly beginning to swell.
She said: “At first her belly bulged a bit, but she said it was just air and didn’t want to go to a hospital.
“She only agreed to go after she started having trouble breathing.”
Ms Huang admitted: “I couldn’t lie flat to sleep. I had to sit up with a pillow behind my back.”
Professor Li and her colleague Jiang Jing spent 90 minutes operating on Ms Huang, aspirating some 33 litres of fluids from her ovarian tumour.
The encompassing sac, weighing 4.4 pounds, was then surgically removed from her abdomen.
According to the hospital, Ms Huang spent 24 hours in intensive care before being transferred to the general ward.
She is continuing her recovery at the facility.
Professor Li said ovarian tumours are the most common form of benign tumours found in women, but they can also become malignant.
She noted that ovarian tumours can affect women of all age groups, but the growths are not always obvious at first, and are often discovered when they begin pressing against nearby organs and cause discomfort.
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