Unique : Butterfly sized Thyroid Gland turned Coconut sized Tumor

Sir Ganga Ram Hospital finds it unprecedented in size and weight


New Delhi : Mr. Raghubir (name changed) aged 72yrs, a farmer from Begusarai, Bihar, was suffering from difficulty in breathing and swallowing for the last six months. It was due to his butterfly sized thyroid gland morphing into coconut sized tumor. This unique and unprecedented case took Sir Ganga Ram doctors by surprise. Tumor being successfully removed; the farmer took a great sigh of relief.

The problem started increasing so much that his quality of life was totally hampered. He was brought to the Department of ENT and Head, Neck Onco Surgery, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi last month.

According to Dr. Sangeet Agarwal, Consultant, Head and Neck Onco Surgery, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, “During my last so many years of practice, I have operated more than 250 such cases of huge thyroid tumors but this was a unique case in terms of weight and size wherein normal butterfly shape thyroid gland which normally weighs 10-15gms and is of 3-4cms size, became of the size of more than that of a coconut, 18-20cm firm and hard like a rock.

There were multiple challenges involved in this surgery (1) Biggest challenge was to save the voice of the patient while removing this tumor. Bilateral Vocal Cord Nerves were saved successfully. (2) High vascularity (tumor was filled with multiple blood vessels) of the gland due to which chances of blood loss was very high. Special care was taken to avoid puncturing of these blood vessels (3) Trachea (Wind Pipe) was compressed due to which special technique for anaesthesia had to be applied.  (4) In such types of hugetumors, preservation of calcium and maintaining para thyroid glands was also a big challenge. We were able to successfully preserve all 4 para thyroid glands.

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ located in the base of neck. It releases hormones that control metabolism—the way body uses energy. The thyroid’s hormones regulate vital body functions, including:Breathing, Heart rateCentral and peripheral nervous systems, Body weight, Muscle strength,Menstrual cycles, Body temperature, Cholesterol levels.

The thyroid gland lies in front of throat which is sometimes also called the Adam’s apple.The surgery took about 3 hours. This was performed by Head and Neck Onco Surgery team headed by Dr. Sangeet Agarwal.


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