The woman had been diagnosed with a hydatid cyst which can occur from contact with stray animals and pets that have not been dewormed.

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Health Health Thursday, December 05, 2019 - 17:24

In a rare surgery, surgeons at Saveetha Medical College and Hospitals have removed a whopping 759 cysts from the abdomen of a 29-year-old female patient who was suffering from peritoneal hydatid disease, a senior doctor said.

The doctors said the disease is largely prevalent in areas where there is a concentration of stray dogs and sheep, and infects humans due to contaminated water and lack of personal hygiene.

Speaking to reporters here on Wednesday, BS Sundaravadanan, professor, General Surgery, said a female patient had come to the hospital with severe abdominal pain and distension for over three months.

"The patient was not able to take normal food. She used to vomit soon after having food. Ultrasound of abdomen revealed multiple cystic lesions in the peritoneal and the CT scan showed four very big cysts occupying about 50 per cent of the abdominal cavity," Sundaravadanan said.

The big mother cysts had numerous daughter cysts suggesting peritoneal hydatid disease.

He said the cysts were adherent/supported by liver, portal vein, bile duct, left kidney, large intestine, urinary bladder, large vessels of the right lower limb.

This made the surgery a complex one, as cysts containing very dangerous fluids should be taken out without puncturing them. The fluid inside the cyst could be a killer, doctors said.

According to the doctors, an ultrasound and CT scan revealed four large cysts where were taking up around 50% of the abdominal cavity. All of these had a number of smaller daughter cysts inside.

Each large cyst was opened individually and the different sized daughter cysts were removed carefully without spillage. The cyst wall was removed completely from the surrounding structures very carefully.

"The total count of the daughter cysts in all the four cysts put together was at a staggering 759. This is probably one of the rarest of the occurrences in medical history. Hydatid disease is endemic in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Liver is the most common site of Hydatid cyst," Saveetha Rajesh, Director, Saveetha Medical College and Hospital, said.

Hydatid disease is a parasitic infestation caused by tapeworm of the genus Echinococcus. It affects animals who ingest parasite eggs in contaminated food or water. According to WHO, humans often become the so called “accidental intermediate hosts”, as they can acquire the disease, but do not transmit the infection.

When humans are infected by this parasite, it leads to the development of hyatid cysts. “The asymptomatic incubation period of the disease can last many years until hydatid cysts grow to an extent that triggers clinical signs, however approximately half of all patients that receive medical treatment for infection do so within a few years of their initial infection with the parasite,” WHO says.

According to the doctors, the operation took about four-and-a-half hours and the patient was discharged eight days after that with a prescription to take a medicine for preventing a relapse. The situation, doctors said, was a life threatening one. If it wasn’t treated, the woman could have led to shock and death.

The doctors added that proper hygiene of domestic pets like dogs should be maintained while deworming of pets periodically is a must. Further, maintaining personal hygiene by washing hands, and ingesting clean drinking water, washed vegetables and fruits is also a must, said the doctors.

(With IANS inputs)