Dr. Joshua Ellenhorn, the co-founder of the Surgery Group of Los Angeles, removed one of the largest tumors from a patient’s abdomen in Cedars Sinai history last week. Dr. Moshe Barnajian, a colorectal surgeon for the Surgery Group of Los Angeles, assisted in removing the tumor that measured almost 2 feet in size.
The patient, a 61 year old Spanish speaking maintenance worker, had previously been told the mass was inoperable. The patient had difficulty eating because he felt full very quickly which resulted in weight loss, weakness, and an inability to preform at work.
The patient, who initially sought help at a large academic medical center in Los Angeles, was told that his suffering was caused by a large tumor in his abdomen. The tumor was a Retroperitoneal Sarcoma, which is a type of cancer of the body’s
connective tissue. This particular type of Sarcoma is called a liposarcoma because it derives from the malignant transformation of fat Cells.
The academic center told the patient that his tumor would not respond to chemotherapy or radiation. Given that the the tumor would not respond to chemotherapy or radiation, surgery was his only option. However, the academic center told the patient that he was not a candidate for surgical removal of the tumor because of the tumor’s large size and the involvement of major blood vessels in the abdomen.
The patient was later referred to Dr. Ellenhorn, Clinical Professor of Surgery at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. After the initial consultation, Dr. Ellenhorn felt that he would be able to operate, despite the tumor’s large size.
“The sarcoma this patient presented with was incredibly large, one of the biggest I had ever seen. That said, I believed that it was something that I could remove. I felt an obligation to help this man return to his normal life, and regain his strength,” said Dr. Ellenhorn.
The operation, which took three hours to perform, involved carefully separating the tumor from the inferior vena cava and the back of the abdomen, the liver and the blood supply to the intestine.
Dr. Moshe Barnajian, who assisted Dr. Ellenhorn with the procedure noted that “it was an incredibly nerve wracking surgery because of the size of the mass that we had to remove.”
After the surgery was completed, the resected tumor weighed over 25 pounds.
The patient is now recovering at home and looks forward to resuming work and his regular schedule. Dr. Ellenhorn of the Surgery Group of Los Angeles will continue to monitor the patient.