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20kg tumour removed from woman who put off hospital visit

Stock photo. © PFree2014/Wikimedia

Surgeons in Naples have removed a tumour weighing 20kg from a woman who was afraid to attend hospital in case she might catch Covid-19, Torresette reports.

The 64-year-old living in Florence, named as Luisa Cicatiello, had noticed a growing mass in her abdominal-pelvic region, but despite the pain chose not to go to the doctor because of the risk of becoming infected with Covid-19, head surgeon Giovanni Vennarecci explained.

Eventually she found the courage to see a gynaecologist, who immediately diagnosed cancer. Cicatiello agreed to go into hospital, but not in Florence. Instead she travelled to Naples, to be operated on in the Cardarelli hospital there, by Dr Vennarecci, accompanied by surgeons Giuseppe Arenga and Donatella Pisaniella.

In the operating theatre, they removed a mass measuring 17cm across, and weighing 20kg.

The intervention was made more complex and extremely risky by the size of the mass and the age of the patient, Dr. Vennaracci said. “Everything went as well as possible. Now we will have to see what the histological examination tells us.”

“This is an example of the extraordinary activity that has never stopped despite the pandemic,” commented hospital general manager Giuseppe Longo.

Cardarelli is a hospital of reference at a regional and national level, that has never stopped providing emergency services even in the hardest days of the pandemic.”

Luisa Cicatiello has since been discharged and is now at home.

The Cardarelli hospital, meanwhile, has been the subject of several headlines since the pandemic first reached Italy and Europe.

Last month Dr. Carlo Mollino, chief of general and pancreatic surgery, became the hospital’s first donor of hyperimmune plasma – taken from the blood of people who have been infected by Covid-19 and thought to be a promising method of treatment. Dr. Mollino is sitting out his infection at home.

Three weeks ago, a video went viral online, showing a man lying dead in the bathroom of a ward in the hospital while other patients were crowded into the ward itself, some of them still in street clothes.

And just this week the hospital completed the construction of a marquee outside the building with 16 beds to be used by patients who had passed through the emergency room and were awaiting the results of tests before their treatment elsewhere in the hospital could be determined.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times