DANBURY, Connecticut, May 3, 2018 — A lifesaving surgery to remove one of the largest known ovarian tumors was performed at Danbury Hospital, a nationally recognized community hospital that is part of Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN). A team of dedicated surgeons, physicians, and medical staff successfully resected a 132-pound benign mucinous ovarian tumor from a 38-year-old woman in a single surgery. The patient went home just two weeks after her surgery and is expected to make a full recovery.
Rapid weight gain over two months — about 10 pounds a week — prompted the patient to seek medical attention from a gynecologist. A computed tomography (CT) scan revealed a large ovarian mass. Her gynecologist referred her to Western Connecticut Medical Group’s Vaagn Andikyan, MD. Dr. Andikyan, a board-certified gynecologic oncologist and Assistant Professor at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine, gave the patient hope.
“I might expect to see a 25-pound ovarian tumor, but a 132-pound tumor is very rare. When I met the patient, she was extremely malnourished because the tumor was sitting on her digestive tract, and she used a wheelchair because of the tumor’s weight. I wanted to help her, and I knew that we could at Danbury Hospital,” said Dr. Andikyan.
Extensive pre-operative planning was crucial because there were many unknowns and hurdles to address. Within two weeks, the care team developed and practiced plans for five potential scenarios.
The patient’s care team suspected that the tumor, which occupied the patient’s entire abdomen, was benign; however, they could not be sure without conducting further tests. Danbury Hospital’s cardiovascular experts were instrumental to the care plan because the tumor was sitting on a major blood vessel and they were concerned about the patient’s heart. Medical residents conducted imperative research to aid in developing the care plan. The operating room staff prepped a room to accommodate a tumor of this magnitude.
The team chose to perform the tumor resection and abdominal reconstruction at the same time to reduce the number of surgeries for the patient and improve her outcome. After a five-hour surgery, Drs. Andikyan and Chuang successfully removed the tumor — and only the patient’s left ovary. Dr. Goldenberg removed excess skin that was stretched by the tumor and reconstructed the patient’s abdomen.
Danbury Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit and Inpatient Rehabilitation helped the patient to convalesce safely and quickly, and social workers helped the patient and her family to navigate her care plan. Danbury Hospital pathologists are currently conducting genetic tests on the tumor. They want to understand why the tumor grew so quickly in two months so the care team and patient can learn from this case.
“I’m so proud of Dr. Andikyan for his leadership and our entire team for having the courage to tackle this extraordinarily complex case. We were all determined to help our patient, even though this was the first time a case like this had come to Danbury Hospital. WCHN is a Network of exceptionally talented, compassionate clinical professionals that provide high-quality care no matter what the circumstances. We have the resources and the heart to overcome the most challenging cases,” said Dr. Chuang, who is also the Fred and Irma Bering Endowed Chair in Minimally Invasive Surgery.
The patient said she chose Danbury Hospital because she felt comforted by her care team’s experience, know-how, and confidence that they could help her. She also liked that Danbury Hospital had accommodations that allowed her family to stay with her at the hospital.
Dr. Andikyan practices out of Danbury Hospital and Norwalk Hospital, and Westport Gynecologic Oncology in Westport, CT. Call 203-739-4900 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Andikyan, and visit our websites to learn more about gynecologic care at WCHN: Danbury Hospital, Norwalk Hospital, and New Milford Hospital.