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Emirati woman gives birth after rare tumour surgery

3.1 from 27 votes
Monday, February 19, 2018

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A young Emirati woman has given birth to a healthy baby after being successfully treated for a rare hormonal disease, which required the removal of a tumour from her pituitary gland.

The rare disorder, known as Cushing's disease, is a serious condition that leads to an excess of the hormone cortisol in the body and affects just 10 to 15 people per million per year.

Symptoms include excessive weight gain around the abdomen and face, added fat on the back of the neck - known as a 'buffalo hump' - an irregular menstruation cycle, muscle weakness, easily bruised skin, thin arms and legs, and excessive hair growth on the face, neck, chest, abdomen and thighs.

Other symptoms include decreased fertility, high blood pressure, and mood and behaviour disorders.

Cushing's disease can be difficult to diagnose, but if left untreated it can result in serious complications, such as diabetes mellitus and osteoporosis or even early death, said Dr Amir H. Hamrahian, chief of Endocrinology at the Medical Subspecialties Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

"The 27-year-old patient first came to us after experiencing a range of symptoms, such as plethora [reddish complexion of the face], fatigue, dizziness, headaches, increased sweating, tingling, depression and lack of menstruation," said Dr Hamrahian.

"Initial tests found that the patient had elevated cortisol levels, which is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal gland in response to stress."

After further investigation, doctors discovered a small benign tumour on the patient's pituitary gland, confirming the Cushing's disease diagnosis.

The patient underwent transsphenoidal surgery, a cutting-edge procedure that allows surgeons to remove the tumour via the nose and sphenoid sinus with an endoscope.

The surgery is considered minimally invasive, resulting in a faster recovery time for the patient.

The pituitary gland plays an important role in the body, stressed Dr Hamrahian.

The size of a pea, it is located behind the eye sockets and is attached to the brain by a thin stem. It is often referred to as the 'master gland,' as it regulates a number of the body's glands, including ovaries, testicles, thyroid and adrenals.

"Surgery usually leads to a remission rate of about 80 per cent. I am very happy that this patient is now in remission and just one month after the procedure, the patient became pregnant and has since given birth to a healthy baby.

"One of the things about Cushing's disease is that if you make the correct diagnosis and the patient is treated by an experienced team, you can change the patient's life," he added.


Source: Khaleej Times
3.1 from 27 votes
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