The tumour – which was as heavy as a seven-month-old baby – had been growing inside Maria Krammer’s stomach for several years, without her realising.
It was only when she started experiencing problems with her digestive system and severe pain that she went to the doctor, who recommended a CT scan.
She was diagnosed with the massive tumour last week, and operated on three days later. Gerhard Wolf from the Graz hospital surgery team said that it was an exceptional case. “We’ve removed tumours half this size, but to have concealed something the size of a medicine ball inside your stomach is very unusual,” he said.
A complicating factor was that Krammer’s abdominal organs had been squashed and moved by the tumour. “This was a really big operation, and we had a great sense of responsibility,” Wolf said.
Surgeons at Graz hospital treat around 2,500 patients every year, half of whom are cancer patients who need surgery to remove tumours.
It took two hours to remove Krammer’s tumour. It is now being analysed at the Institute of Pathology, to find out why it grew so large. Doctors believe it is benign.
Krammer is already able to walk around and hopes to be able to leave hospital next week.
Gerhard Wolf und Maria Krammer. Photo: Marija Kanizaj/LKH-Univ. Klinikum Graz