Bangalore: Manipal Hospitals, Bangalore, has said that it successfully removed a rare tumor of the nerve cells – paraganglioma – which was secreting excess hormone and was present at the lower back, near the spine of 36-year-old patient Jagadeesh Ratha. Ratha was on medication for hypertension for several years and facing recurrent lower backache for the past one year with radiating right lower limb pain for 8 months. He also reported losing weight over the past 6 months. Thorough investigation revealed that he was suffering from a spinal paraganglioma, with excess secretion of catecholamine hormone leading to hypertension. A multidisciplinary team with specialized doctors from different streams got together to perform this complex surgery.
Dr. Karthik Prabhakar, Consultant, Diabetes & Endocrinology, at Manipal Hospitals, said, “According to a recent study, these kind of tumors are found in 2 out of every million people each year and are the cause of high blood pressure in less than 0.2% of people. Though in this case it was a benign tumor, excess release of catecholamine from the tumor in uncontrolled bursts could cause serious health problems like stroke, heart attacks, and even death to the patient. Therefore, he required a multi-disciplinary attention.”
Speaking about the case, Dr. Praveen M Ganigi, Consultant, Neurosurgery, at the hospital, said, “Spinal paraganglioma is rare, with approximately 90 cases reported in the literature and can affect people between the ages of 30 and 50. The surgery was conducted in two steps, one from the front and another one from the back of the spine, taking a total of around 10 hours of complex surgery with constant monitoring of his vital sings.”
Dr. G S Nagaraja Prabhakar, Consultant, Anesthesiology, at the hospital, said, “Since the urinary metanephrines’ value was on the higher side, we had to initiate adrenergic receptor blockers, along with appropriate antihypertensive medications for preoperative BP management. During surgery, hormones in the tumor could be released and could cause serious problems such as elevated blood pressure and pulse. We had to be alert and maintain his body stable at the time of the surgery.”
“For these kind of rare cases of paraganglioma, complete removal of tumour by surgical resection is the first choice of treatment with or without radiotherapy. However, since paragangliomas are highly vascular lesions and in view of anticipated large volume blood loss, Ratha underwent pre-operative endovascular embolization to cut off blood supply to the tumor,” added Dr. Shabber Zaveri, Consultant, Cancer Care.
As it was a spinal paraganglioma, it could also change the shape of the spinal cord, which could have been disastrous. Therefore, the doctors had to reconstruct the spine as well, post removing the tumor.
Dr. Bopanna KM, Consultant, Neurosurgery, said, “Post-surgery and upon review he was evaluated and was symptomatically better, mobilizing independently and healing well with no fresh deficits. The patient underwent regular physiotherapy and was mobilized with thoraces-lumbar brace post the surgery as per the physical rehabilitation team and was discharged in a stable condition.”
Expressing his happiness over the treatment, the patient Jagadeesh Ratha, said, “I have recovered completely and am now leading a happy and normal life. I appreciate the efforts and commitment of the doctors.”
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