Man has tumor the size of his head removed from neck
A 81-year-old man, who hails from New Jersey, US, is currently recovering at home after surgeons removed a massive tumour the size of his head from his neck.
Milton Wingert, who was released from Mount Sinai Hospital on Tuesday, had been watching the cancerous tumour grow in size over the last few months, and it was beginning to impact his quality of life.
"When I was referred the patient, the referring doctor sent me a clinical picture and picture of the MRI and my initial reaction was that’s a pretty massive tumor," Wingert’s head and neck surgeon at Mount Sinai, Dr. Nazir Khan, said when speaking to Fox News.
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The retired electrician told the New York Post that he was forced to stay indoors, despite efforts to cover the mass with a hanker-chief.
"I was so self-conscious," he said. "[People] would make fun of me."
The tumour appeared on his neck around seven months ago, and quickly began increasing in size. Wingert consulted numerous doctors, but the more the mass grew, the less willing they were to remove it, being concerned that surgery could compromise his carotid artery or clavicle.
"I kept seeing different doctors and going to different hospitals, and it kept growing and growing and getting bigger and bigger," the 81-year-old continued. "I was getting worried, wondering when I was going to get that operation."
By the time Wingert had met with Dr. Khan the mass had grown to around 23 centimetres (9 inches), which is roughly the size of a soccer ball.
"It was the largest [tumor] I’ve ever operated on," Khan told the publication. "It had caused him significant quality of life [issues], so I felt sorry that it had gotten to this point."
If the tumour was allowed to keep growing, Khan says that "it would have essentially compressed his airway," and suffocated Wingert.
During the surgery, which took place on the 5th of November, thoracic and vascular surgeons were on hand in case the tumour proved too difficult to remove. "We were prepared for the worst, but hoped for the best," Khan said.
Thankfully, the operation went smoothly. Wingert will still have to undergo additional treatment, including radiation or chemotherapy, but according to medical staff, he should be out of hospital by the time his birthday rolls around later this month.
"I’m going to celebrate my 82nd birthday," Wingert concluded, "It’s a miracle."