A team of Romanian and U.S. doctors said Wednesday they had successfully removed a tumor weighing 175 pounds from a woman patient in an operation lasting 10 hours.
Lucica Bunghez, 47, had been largely confined to bed because of the tumor, which weighed almost double her body weight and covered her back, waist and hips.
“She is very well, the lack of the tumor really suits her,” Ion Lascar, head of the plastic surgery department of Floreasca Hospital in Bucharest, told reporters.
Lascar headed the medical team together with a U.S. surgeon who successfully removed a 200-pound tumor from an American woman in 1998.
Bunghez’s family said they had long tried unsuccessfully to raise money for the operation, which was eventually paid for by the Washington-based Discovery Channel in exchange for film rights.
The tumor, which initially appeared as a small lump when Bunghez was 22, was removed when it had reached 33 pounds but then reappeared and grew still bigger.
Other doctors had been afraid to operate on Bunghez because the area has many blood vessels and they lacked the experience and equipment to stop the bleeding.
According to the Guinness World Records, the largest tumorever removed intact weighed 302 pounds. It was removed in 1991 and the woman patient made a full recovery.