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Kauvery Hospitals, one of the leading healthcare chains in Tamil Nadu, successfully treated a 25-year-old woman with a rare liver tumor at Kauvery Hospital, Chennai. The team performed a successful living donor liver transplant and she was discharged after a short hospital stay and good recovery.
Hepatic Epithelioid Hemangioendothelioma( HEHE), is a rare tumor that occurs in the soft tissues or blood vessels in the lung, liver or bone. Such tumors require timely diagnosis and treatment. Elaborating on such a tumor that arose in the liver of this young woman, Dr. K Elankumaran, Head of Liver Diseases Transplantation & Hepatobiliary Surgery said, “The 25-year-old patient from Coimbatore, presented with symptoms of upper abdominal pain and significant loss of weight. Upon abdominal scan and investigations, we found the presence of an unusual kind of liver cancer (HEHE). We recommended a liver transplantation to be done, in order to replace the cancerous organ with a healthier one.”
The patients uncle came forward to donate a portion of his liver. “After assessing both the patient and donor we went ahead with the transplantation procedure. We transplanted the right lobe of the liver from the donor to the patient. She had a quick and uncomplicated recovery and was discharged from the hospital in a week,” he added.
HEHE is rare, and is often poorly diagnosed due to its heterogeneous nature. “The cancer can arise in any soft tissues surrounding the organs of lung, liver or bones and can metastasize to other parts. Its prevalence is one in one lakh population, and requires accurate and timely diagnosis. A well-equipped team of hepatologists, transplant surgeons and anesthetists, and equipped with excellent facilities for offering the best post-operative care, are required for the successful management of such a patient,” adds Dr. Elankumaran.
The symptoms of HEHE in liver generally are abdominal pain and unusual loss of weight loss but some could be asymptomatic. “The cancer, which occurs more often among young adults, is mostly undiagnosed early as it could be asymptomatic. The doctors or patient usually come across this condition only upon examination during an MRI scan/CT scan for some other purpose. The cause of occurrence is still unknown and is not hereditary,” says Dr. Elankumaran.
Speaking about the successful treatment Dr. Aravindan Selvaraj, Co-founder and Executive Director Kauvery Hospital Chennai says, “Cancers occur over a very wide spectrum – which refers to a range of manifestations and severities of illness associated with the disease. There have been many rare types researched and diagnosed over the years. A team which is on par with global standards in diagnosis, treatment and research, with well-equipped infrastructure, helps in treating such rare type of cancers. I congratulate Dr. K. Elankumaran and team for consistently and successfully treating such patients whose condition would not have been otherwise diagnosed in time.”