Patient regains sight in UAE after 'giant tumour' removed after 10 years
Selassie's brain scan revealed a 'mother' of all tumors called the 'giant pituitary adenoma' burying 5cm into the vital areas.- Supplied photo
Ajman - An otherwise healthy Selassie, in his 40s, was suddenly unable to walk without someone's help.
When Ethiopian national Haile Selassie walked into a UAE hospital he was almost on the verge of turning blind. Little did he know that he had been neglecting a brain tumour that was growing in his pituitary gland for almost a decade.
When the vision of his right eye went off like a 'blip', after which his left eye also started giving up and Selassie knew he had to act fast. An otherwise healthy Selassie, in his 40s, was suddenly unable to walk without someone's help due to rapidly failing vision.
Selassie's brain scan revealed a 'mother' of all tumors called the 'giant pituitary adenoma' burying 5cm into the vital areas in the depth of his brain. "We had seen tumours ranging from 1cm to 4cm in size but this was a giant one," said Dr Hillol Kanti Pal, consultant neurosurgeon at Thumbay Hospital Ajman. "The cone-shaped tumour - 8cm in diameter - emerged from his pituitary gland. Although many complications arise in these tumours, he had not suffered any kind of hormonal disturbances which occur with any of the seven hormones secreted by the pituitary gland.
"Usually such tumours are inoperable as their complete removal cannot be guaranteed. Since the tumour had been there for ten years, it was pressurising the optic nerves and also hard to remove. Time was of essence as it was in a sensitive area where important veins and optic nerves crossed path. The preferable approach was operating through the nose using an endoscope," he added.
Dr Pal discussed the patient details with senior ENT surgeon, Dr Rohit Gulati and the endoscopic evaluation revealed another operative issue - the patient had a blocked access on the left nostril which needed to be corrected before doing the operation.
Dr Pal and his team conducted a seven-hour long complicated yet successful operation. "The deviated nasal septum was first corrected to reach the tumour. The procedure was carried out using endoscopic approach using C-arm fluoroscopic guidance and high-speed drill. The tumour was removed piecemeal even from the depths of the brain by specially designed curettes. The patient remained stable throughout the procedure and there was no bleeding or leakage of cerebrospinal fluid which usually occur with such large tumours. The optic nerves were decompressed and two carotid arteries were preserved. The floor of the sella was reconstructed meticulously with inputs from senior plastic surgeon Dr Faisal Ameer," he said.
The first thing Selassie noticed on waking from the effects of anesthesia was the his regained vision of the right eye which had earlier been dark. With the passage of hours the vision improved progressively. Now he no longer needed support to walk as he could see clearly. A happy and relieved Selassie was discharged after three days and flew back to his family in Ethiopia without any help.
Dr Pal said that one needs to be conscious of one's own body and in case you notice a any kind unusual issue such as failing eyesight, or in case of women, if they experience menopause at a young age then do not delay in getting yourself examined. The earlier you get yourself checked, the better your chances are of resuming normal life.