Zim Breaks World Kidney Removal Surgery Record

ZIMBABWE has broken the world record of removing a large kidney tumor, offsetting a Japanese operation done in 2009.

By Kudakwashe Pembere

A Zimbabwean woman Mrs Milka Gwatiringa had a kidney mass weighing 12, 6 KGs surgically removed at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals on July 31, 2019 after having it for about 11 years. The tumor was 33cm long with a width of about 30 cm.

Recorded in the International Journal of Urology, a Japanese Professor Kazumi is said to have removed a record large 11, 5 KG tumor.

Briefing the media on the major feat, Parirenyatwa Consultant Urologist Mr Shingirirai Meki said theirs was daring as it is rare to have largest kidney cancers removed.

“Our case is a 48 year old female patient who presented to us via a colleague who had seen this patient and noted that she had a progressive huge abdominal swelling for the past 11 years. Initially, she was not bothered but then she was now having abdominal discomfort and by the heaviness and by the sheer growth of this mass. At that point in time she was weighing 72 KGs and you can see that she looks like she is about to deliver. She was not pregnant and sure she has no intention of falling pregnant,” he said. “So imagine you are carrying such a huge mass and everybody is asking you if you are pregnant and for a woman and everybody keeps asking you if you are pregnant that is quite embarrassing and might be annoying. But she had to live with this for a couple of years. Not only that, medically she was not aware that she was actually carrying a potentially fatal cancer.”

He added that they had to prepare the patient and themselves mentally for about two weeks. Mr Meki who led the operation said the operation done on July 31, 2019 was done in three hours.

“So the day was the 31 st of July 2019 here at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals. The patient needed to have anesthesia of course. We had to open to get access into the abdomen. The line you are seeing there is the extent of the incision from here to the other side. This is done so that you can have exposure. From our assessment we realised that we can actually remove this mass. This is herself before we did the cut. And you can see the magnitude of that mass. She would give her history that if you turn while sleeping everything moves to one side. So the critical part is the intra operating control of this blood vessels. And behold it was out after about three hours. It is actually a record time because we have checked with those who have done huge masses, they will take an average of eight hours to 13 hours,” he said adding that her blood loss was very minimal.

“Because a lot of patients who get removed such big masses actually lose a lot of blood and need massive blood transfusion. And there was no damage to any adjacent organs.”

Mrs Gwatiringa said she started experiencing that something was wrong in 2008.

She said the doctors and nurses took good care of her before, during and post the operation. Mrs GwatiThrough a doctor who convinced her that the tumor could be removed in Zimbabwe. She said through her medical aid she paid ZW$2 000 instead of coughing up USD11 000 in South Africa.

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