Risky surgery removes 1-kilo tumor from boy's chest

Cai Wenjun
Dr Lu Ya'nan of Xinhua Hospital operated for five hours to remove the tumor from the 7-year-old boy's chest, after other hospitals said the procedure was too risky.
Cai Wenjun
Risky surgery removes 1-kilo tumor from boy's chest
Ti Gong

Dr Lu Ya'nan of Xinhua Hospital performs surgery to remove a huge tumor from the chest of a 7-year-old boy.

Xinhua Hospital has announced the successful removal of a 1-kilogram tumor from the chest of a 7-year-old boy.

The tumor took up half of the boy's chest cavity, closely located beside the heart and major arteries. It was like a time bomb in the boy's body, risking his death at any time, doctors said.

The parents noticed the boy's chest had started to bulge recently and went to a hospital in their hometown. Detailed examinations discovered a huge tumor in the boy's chest.

The parents took their son to many hospitals, all of which said there was extremely low survivability of surgery, due to the tumor's large size and its risky position. Any mistake could cause the rupture of major vessels or the heart, gravely endangering the boy's life, doctors told them.

The parents finally took their son to Dr Lu Ya'nan of Xinhua Hospital's pediatric heart center.

Medical checks found the tumor was pressing on the boy's heart, bronchial tube and major blood vessels, narrowing the bronchial tube and causing a buildup of fluid around the heart. The boy was in terminal condition and surgery was the only solution.

"It is a risky surgery, but we must take the risk to save the boy," Lu said. "There can be different kinds of serious risks and challenges, but the expert team has made detailed preparations to ensure safety and success."

In addition to the surgery, the narrow bronchial tube caused by pressure by the tumor was also a major challenge for administering anesthesia. The doctors developed different preparations to deal with any risk during the surgery to ensure their patient's safety.

The 5-hour surgery was a success. Doctors removed the entire tumor in the fastest time possible to reduce the risks and negative impacts.

Fortunately, the tumor was benign and the boy was able to be removed from a respiratory machine within 24 hours, and moved to an ordinary ward. He was discharged upon further recovery.

According to experts, the incidence of chest tumors among children is not high but neither is it rare. Since there are no significant symptoms in early stages, most patients only discover they have a tumor after experiencing such symptoms as chest pain, coughing, weight loss and difficulty swallowing.

Experts said there was a regular treatment model for children's chest tumors through multidisciplinary services. Benign tumors are removed entirely through surgery. Even with a malignant tumor, treatment with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy allow most child patients to achieve good treatment outcomes.

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