Doctors in Ho Chi Minh City have extracted nearly 40 liters of fluid from the stomach of a 19-year-old girl who suffers from an extremely rare health condition that has never been recorded in Vietnam before.
“I am so happy that I have been able to get rid of this heavy burden,” L.T.D., who hails from the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu, said while resting at the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital on Thursday.
D. suffers from congenital peritoneal effusion – the first-ever case in Vietnam, Nguyen Van Tien, a senior doctor at the infirmary, stated, adding that the world has only recorded a few cases so far.
According to her mother, D. was born with an unusually large abdomen and her left arm and leg became swollen just a few days after her birth. Shortly after, doctors diagnosed her with a congenital disease that cannot be treated.
By the time she was eight years old, her belly had begun growing noticeably big and she had had to be taken to multiple hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City. Still, doctors said the disease was untreatable.
|Dr. Nguyen Van Tien with the patient. Photo: Thuy Duong / Tuoi Tre|
When D. was admitted to the city’s Oncology Hospital about two weeks ago, her waist circumference measured 120 centimeters.
The patient was also experiencing difficulty breathing and fatigue as her heart and lungs were compressed.
Results of a CT scan showed that she was storing more than 40 liters of water inside her stomach.
Doctors believed that the compression of her heart and lungs would soon kill her if she was not promptly treated.
After consulting other medical practitioners in Vietnam as well as some experts and oncologists in other countries, doctors at the Oncology Hospital reached the decision to gradually remove the fluid from her abdomen.
|This was D.’s condition when she was admitted to the Oncology Hospital in the photo provided by the infirmary|
They started using syringes and needles to suck about two liters of water out of her stomach every day for ten days.
An important surgery was carried out on Tuesday to extract the final 20 liters of fluid from the patient.
D.’s surgeons said her uterus, ovaries, kidneys, liver, and spleen were in normal conditions, but they did discover a tumor measuring 3×5 centimeters along her spine.
It was a congenital retroperitoneal tumor, doctors said, adding they are waiting for the tumor biopsy results to determine her next treatment.
The patient has been put under close supervision as she may have circulatory shock following the extraction, which can be fatal.
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