Doctors in Hanoi have performed a successful surgery to remove several different tumors from a toddler’s chest and abdomen in a very complicated case that normally would require multiple surgical procedures.
The Central Pediatrics Hospital decided to cut off the tumors after chemotherapy in the past four months did not work on the patient.
Doctors said they wanted to save the baby from having to go through the ordeal many times and to save his family from extra medical costs, local media reported.
The family lives in the mountainous province Lang Son.
The tumors had caused Bao, now two and a half years old, constant diarrhea from 20 months old and high blood pressure from 26 months.
Scans found tumors along his spinal cord and around the abdominal aorta.
Biopsy later confirmed that he had neuroblastoma, or cancer of embryonic nerve cells. The tumors released several hormones and one caused excessive bowel movement.
The baby underwent four sessions of chemotherapy but that still failed to make the tumors shrink.
Doctors at the hospital said Vietnamese and international medical records have never mentioned a surgical procedure like the one they have just performed.
Tran Ngoc Son, who led the five-hour operation, said neuroblastoma is among the most popular cancer types in children, but it is rare to see tumors in different parts of the body at the same time.
Son said multiple surgeries are recommended for such cases because interventions into the chest and the abdomen at once can threaten the patients’ respiratory function and their survival.
“But we thought it would be better if the baby could have only one safe surgery to reduce his time of suffering and to reduce the cost for his family,” he told news website VnExpress.
“We had made careful plans to make sure he’s safe.”
The doctors cut his abdomen open but performed endoscopic surgery on his chest.
He recovered well three days later and was discharged nine days after the surgery. He has managed to eat through his mouth and stopped having diarrhea.