16-year teen saved from a rare complex of angiofibroma tumor at Columbia Asia Hospital

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Bangalore, 11th July 2019: The complexity of the human body has long been a subject of amusing and research. The several systems that make the human body work supersede any of the machinery equipment’s that humans have developed over time using technology. However, while on one hand, the working of the human body is amazing; on the other, it is severely complicated and comes with as many problems in the form of various diseases. Many of these problems developing inside are difficult to even be identified in one shot.

One such rare condition is angiofibroma which is a noncancerous nasal cavity tumor. Also referred to as juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma (JNA), the condition almost exclusively affects adolescent boys between the age group of 7 to 19 years old, majority of who get diagnosed after the age of 10. The cases have also been commonly observed among the males of age group 15-40 years. With a relatively low incidence rate also, this remains to be the most common nasopharynx benign tumor.

There is no specific cause for angiofibroma to occur, but experts say it usually happens due to genetic predisposition. The unilateral tumor occurs in 1 in 1.5 lakh and the bilateral tumor is extremely rare which was found in this 16-year-old boy Niraj (name changed) from Tirupathi. However, the case of Angiofibroma- vascular tumor was not instantly detected. It started with pain in the boy’s nose and nasal bleeding for which he was taken to a homeopathic doctor. The family also tried alternative medications but nothing worked. After a few days passed when they went back to Tirupathi, the boy started losing his vision to which the doctor recommended MRI scans. The scans confirmed that the boy was suffering from a tumor. But after visiting one of the private hospital posts the scans, they were informed with the shattering news that the 12*16 cm long tumor was inoperable. They were referred to a private hospital in Bangalore but the family roamed for weeks without any progress in the case or any help.

All of this started last year in February and even after knowing about the tumor, it took almost a year for the child studying in first PU to receive proper treatment. His condition was all the more severe and complex as he had a bilateral tumor which was extending on both sides of his eye which is an extremely rare occurrence. It was only after a relative recommended that the family visited Columbia Asia hospital, Hebbal.

“This is not cancer but behaves like one. The boy had lost vision in both eyes because of the tumor which was behind his cheek and was constantly spreading,” said Dr. Santosh, Columbia Asia Hospital Hebbal who operated the boy along with Dr. Avinash, Columbia Asia Hospital Hebbal.

Juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma (JNA) usually makes it difficult to breathe through the nose owing to the airway obstruction and also leads to nosebleeds and headaches. If the tumor significantly expands, it can also cause double vision and other cranial nerve signs.

For Niraj’s complex and rare condition, open surgery was suggested by splitting his face. However, Dr. Avinash and Dr. Santosh managed to do the surgery for him without having to cut his face. They did it an endoscopically. Two surgeries were performed for Niraj. In the first one blood supply to the tumor was cut followed by removal of the tumor.

“Using endoscope through his nose we removed the tumor. There was bleeding, so we did embolization or blocking of the feeding artery and then did the removal of the tumor,” the doctor added.

Post-surgery, Niraj regained his vision and is now doing fine. All this had forced Niraj to leave school some time back but now he will be able to resume his studies further.

“It was an extremely difficult phase of my life where I had lost my vision and hope to lead a normal life again. The doctors have given me a new life. I will be now able to continue my studies.”, said the patient Niraj