FV successfully removes giant rectal tumour

After giving up all hope and accepting that his malignant tumour would soon cause his death, 70-year-old Cambodian patient Mr. T.S. eventually met with Dr Phan Van Thai from FV Hospital, who developed a treatment plan to save his life.

After FV Hospital’s surgical team removed the “giant” rectal tumour, Dr Thai said:

Malignant colorectal tumours, especially those which are very large and occupy the pelvic area, can be incredibly invasive, causing problems with the bladder and other organs and generating large necrotic fissures in the prostate gland. Surgically removing the entire tumour requires a large caesarean section and carries many risks and potential complications, and is a major challenge for surgical imaging and the surgical team.

Before coming to FV for treatment, Mr T.S. visited a well-known hospital in Thailand for medical examination and treatment. After doctors there diagnosed Mr T. S. with colorectal cancer, he was recommended to undergo radiation therapy and have his entire rectum removed and have a permanent artificial anus created, but the thought of such a large procedure frightened Mr T. S. so much that he refused treatment and returned home.

Three years later, when his condition was much worse and he was experiencing pain in the anus, difficulty urinating, abdominal obstruction and increasing abdominal pain, Mr T. S. decided to travel to Vietnam and go to FV Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department.

Here, he was diagnosed by doctor Phan Van Thai with urethral necrosis and a urinary tract infection, septicaemia, complete blockage of the bowel and invasion of many pelvic organs. This was an emergency situation; if left untreated and without timely surgery, Mr T. S. would probably only have survived a few days.

His treatment was divided into two stages: the first surgery was to solve the immediate problems of intestinal obstruction and septicaemia; a second operation was planned for a few weeks later to thoroughly remove the entire tumour.

Mr T. S. underwent an anal surgery with an ostomy bag installed to relieve his acute bowel obstruction, while his other complaints and sepsis could be treated. After 10 days of care, he recovered, but Mr T. S.’s heart was still heavy because he knew the large tumour was still inside his body and it would continue to torment him, and also that the second operation to remove the entire tumour would be very complicated and carried risks of complications and death.

Mr T. S. decided not to have the second surgery and returned to Cambodia with conflicted feelings. He did not know what to do: should he accept the torture of the tumour and die within a few months, or undergo the surgery with its many risks?

Mr T. S. contacted some relatives who are doctors working in France; once they had consulted with Dr Phan Van Thai to better understand the situation and proposed treatment process, they encouraged Mr T. S. to choose surgery. Dr Thai, through an interpreter, also called to explain his proposed treatment protocol and encourage Mr. T.S. to undergo the operation.

After hearing the doctors advice, and tired of suffering from fatigue, pain in the anal area and difficulty urinating, Mr T. S. decided to return to FV for treatment.

Dr Phan Van Thai (General Surgery) and Dr Do Van Minh (Urologist) worked together for eight hours in the OT to remove the whole tumour and invaded organ tissue: they removed the patient’s whole rectum, anus, invaded parts of his genitalia, entire bladder and entire prostate, before applying a permanent artificial anal and urinary tract.

After recovering well with no serious complications, Mr T. S. was discharged three weeks after his surgery and will continue to receive chemotherapy at FV Hospital.

At present, Mr T.S.’s quality of life is much better than before.

When asked why he did not continue his treatment in Thailand, Mr T.S said: “At that time, I was very scared and my economic situation was tough, and I did not think the tumour was progressing so quickly that it would soon invade my other organs.

The operation was successful and I am very appreciative of Dr Thai’s efforts; I keep Dr Thai in my heart. I did not really trust FV before I came here, but after being treated and well cared for, I have completely changed my mind

said Mr T. S.

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