Tales from the O.R. Vol.3 The Cyst





I had heard about this case. I was a popular guy with the ladies in the O.B./GYN residency program.  When I heard about a woman with a 303.2 pound cyst coming to town, I had to make myself available in the neighborhood when the 13 hour operation was going on.

How do you grow a 303.2 pound cyst? It helps if you’re an agoraphobic person. (fear of the outdoors)  Many grossly obese patients that hit the upper 3 digits don’t like going outside.  They find it hard to bathe normally and tend to neglect medical attention.  If you weigh 550 pounds; who’s going to miss 303.2 pounds?

It turned out that the patient had what was called a “Dermoid” cyst. It’s a type of ovarian cyst.  They’re quite disgusting cysts usually about the size of a ping pong ball. This one was bigger than almost everyone in the room.  What makes a dermoid cyst so disgusting is its composition.  The garden variety dermoid cyst is a collection of synovial fluid, teeth and hair.  The trick is to excise the cyst without cracking the egg or breaking open its contents.

When you have one that’s 303.2 pounds, it is like removing a human from a Boa constrictor. Yes I got to witness the delivery of this monstrosity up close and personal as they needed strong Biceps to remove the specimen.

As I recall, the cyst was about 2.5’ long (That’s feet) and we took a gurney into the O.R. with the patient’s abdomen open. We gowned and gloved then put a sterile drape on the gurney as not to contaminate the surgical field and people on the O.R. table side pushed, while yours truly with help caught this creature and centered it on the gurney.  Another drape was used to cover the cyst and away we went.  It may have sounded simple but you have to remember that losing that much weight will affect your enzymes. Blood loss was almost a secondary concern.

Hopefully the patient is alive and going for walks in the park. It should be easier without carrying an extra 303.2 pounds in your belly.  I was there and would have bought the Tee-shirt had they sold them.


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