A team of surgeons from Saveetha Medical College and Hospital removed 759 cysts from the abdomen of a 29-year-old woman early this year. The woman was diagnosed with peritoneal hydatid disease that is caused by ingestion of contaminated food and water.
The woman had approached doctors with complaints of severe abdominal pain, difficulty in bowel movement and gradual abdominal distending resulting in difficulty in breathing for three months, doctors said.
She had undergone a surgery for removal of a cyst when she was seven years old. But no details about the surgery were available with her. She was unable to eat normally and was continuously vomiting for two weeks before she approached us, B.S. Sundaravadanan, professor of General Surgery told reporters on Wednesday. On examination, doctors found a large operative scar on her abdomen.
Four large cysts
We did an ultrasound and CT scan that revealed four large cysts that were occupying about 50% of the abdominal cavity with numerous daughter cysts inside, he added. The large cysts were adherent to the liver, portal vein, bile duct and duodenum, left kidney, large intestine, urinary bladder and large vessels of the right lower limb, he said, adding that the large cysts measured from sizes varied between 10 cm x 5 cm and 10 cm x 15 cm.
It was a life threatening situation, and if left untreated, it could have led to shock and death, he added.
On July 9, a team of surgeons removed the cysts in a 4.5-hour-long surgery. The total count of the daughter cysts in all the four cysts was a staggering 759. We had to take precaution as the cysts were adhered to organs, he said. The woman was discharged and was doing well.
Kannan, professor of Surgical Gastroenterology, said Hydatid disease, a tapeworm infestation, was endemic in certain places of the State such as Madurai. It spreads through animal faeces. The cycle involves dogs and sheep, and human beings are accidental intermediate hosts. When ingested, tapeworm eggs go to the liver first. Cases of Hydatid disease is reducing due to improvement in hygiene, he added.
P. Anbalagan, professor of Surgical Gastroenterology said that patients are usually asymptomatic. The cysts grow slowly for 1 to 5 cm a year, doctors said.
They stressed on hygiene practices including hand washing, washing of vegetables, fruits and greens, ensuring safe drinking water, de-worming of pets and maintaining cleanliness at slaughter houses. Care should be taken when consuming salads too.
N.M. Veeraiyan, founder and chancellor, Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Sciences and Saveetha Rajesh, director of the hospital were present.