A Turkish woman has recovered from an operation in which doctors removed a 17-centimeter (6.7-inch) tumor from her ovaries. 

The operation, which was carried out using a closed (laparoscopic) method on the patient, who had recently been fitted with an artificial heart device, was performed at Istanbul’s Medipol Mega University Hospital in a first for Turkey, according to the hospital.

About three years ago, Emine Katilmis, a 38-year-old mother of one living in Edirne, northwestern Turkey, suddenly experienced severe chest pain, numbness in her arm, cold sweats and nausea.

She said that while she was having a heart attack, doctors could not diagnose it, so she went through the process without medical help.

She said the last thing she remembered hearing was, “We’re losing the patient,” adding: “I then had two stents inserted into my heart and spent three days in intensive care.”

“Based on a recommendation, I went to Medipol for treatment. In the initial examinations, they said the left side of my heart had lost function. There was an enlarged heart, heart failure and problems with the heart valves. While waiting in line for a heart transplant, I was fitted with an artificial heart device because a suitable heart couldn’t be found.”

She said a month after she had the artificial heart device installed, she suddenly collapsed at home.

“After checks, I found out that the cause was a 17-centimeter tumor.

“I was afraid of what my son would do if I died. I cried and prayed. Thank God, thanks to the talents and efforts of my doctors, I have returned to my family, my son.”

– ‘Heart hardest to find’

“In addition to the fact that there are not enough people who donate organs, there are unfortunately not enough donors for heart transplants,” said Korhan Erkanli, the heart transplant coordinator at the hospital.

Cardiologist Oguz Karaca said: “Although laparoscopic, i.e. closed surgery, has not been performed on a patient with an artificial heart device before in Turkey, our patient is currently living in a very healthy state as a result of the operation performed by taking appropriate precautions.”

*Writing by Merve Berker

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