Surgeons in India have removed what they claim to be is the largest brain tumour ever.
A 31-year-old man had reportedly left the growth to its own devices for 20 years because he was too afraid and low on money to have surgery.
By the time it was removed the tumour weighed a staggering 11lbs (5kg), which doctors said is bigger than any ever recorded in medical reports.
His surgeon said the tumour – which local reports said was cancerous – was almost the same size as the entire rest of his head.
The man, known only as Sakthivel, is recovering well from the op.
A man known only as Sakthivel had been living with the tumour growing out of his head for 20 years – between the ages of 11 and 31 – and hadn’t had the money to get medical help
‘The patient came to our hospital in the second week of May with a huge growth on his head and restrictions of neck movement,’ said Dr J Srisaravanan, the neurosurgeon who treated Sakthivel.
‘He has [had] the tumour for around 20 years, but as his brother had died due to some other surgery he feared to undergo surgery to remove the tumour.’
Dr Srisaravanan removed the massive growth in a 10-hour operation at the Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai in the south of India.
The hospital was about 42 miles (68km) from Sakthivel’s hometown of Dindigul.
Despite having suffered with the growth since he was just 11 years old, Sakthivel had never sought medical treatment.
He didn’t have the money to pay for such a big operation and was also nervous because his brother died during another surgery.
But when the tumour became so big Sakthivel struggled to move his head and it interfered with his daily life, he decided to seek help.
The average adult human head weighs between 10 and 11lbs (around 5kg).
Private hospitals reportedly asked Sakthivel for the equivalent of around £5,600 in order to do the operation, so he sought help at a state-run hospital in the city of Madurai
Medics said the tumour weighed a staggering 11lbs (5kg), adding they think it is the biggest tumour ever removed, blowing last year’s record 3.9lbs (1.8kg) out of the water
Sakthivel had left the tumour to grow out of control partly because he was afraid of surgery after his brother died during an operation
Sakthivel, pictured with the medical staff who operated and took care of him after the monstrous tumour was removed, is said to be recovering well
First approaching private hospitals, who wanted 500,000 rupees (£5,658) to do the operation, he was then operated on by a team of six medics at a state-run hospital.
A story by the BBC last year revealed a man whose 3.9lbs (1.8kg) brain tumour was believed to be the world’s largest – but Sakthivel’s is more than twice the weight.
Dr Srisaravanan said: ‘We went through medical literature, and have not found anything larger than the present case of Sakthivel.’
No independent organisations have confirmed the tumour was the largest ever.
He added: ‘[Sakthivel] had social inhibitions due to the large swelling and didn’t want to meet people.
‘Moreover, when he approached private hospitals, they asked [500,000 rupees] –which was beyond his means – for the surgery to get the tumour removed. So he came to us.
‘The tumour was almost equal in size to his head. I had never come across such a big tumour in the head in my career of 15 years in neurosurgery.’
Indian surgeons last year said they had removed the world’s largest brain tumour from a 31-year-old man.
Santlal Pal, a cloth seller, had a 3.9lbs (1.8kg) mass pulled out by a team of experts in Mumbai in a mammoth operation.
The gruelling procedure, which took place at the BYL Nair Charitable Hospital, lasted seven hours, local reports said.
Medics claimed the biggest brain tumour that was successfully removed before this weighed just 3.1lbs (1.4kg).
Santlal Pal, a cloth seller, had a 4.1lbs (1.9kg) mass pulled out by a team of experts in Mumbai in a mammoth operation
Mr Pal had complained of a progressive swelling of his scalp, headaches and a loss of vision in both eyes.
It is believed he had endured the agonising symptoms, which are tell-tale of a brain tumour, since he was just one.
By the time he was admitted to hospital he was blind and his scalp has swelled to appear as if he had two heads mounted on top of each other.
Professor Trimurti Nadkarni who led the surgery said at the time: ‘The patient has made good recovery and is now ambulatory and on full diet. He feels relieved of ‘a large burden on his head.’
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