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Doctors remove 175-pound tumor


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BUCHAREST, Romania (Reuters) -- A team of Romanian and U.S. doctors say they have successfully removed a tumor weighing 175 pounds (80 kilograms) 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 on Wednesday.

Lascar headed the medical team together with a U.S. surgeon who successfully removed a 200-pound (91 kilograms) 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 (15 kilograms) 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 tumor ever removed intact weighed 302 pounds (138 kilograms). It was removed in 1991 and the woman patient made a full recovery.



Copyright 2004 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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