Larry West, from Bakersfield, Calif., is recovering from a surgery that removed a 14-year-old, 200-lb. tumor from his abdomen on Tuesday. The tumor began at his belly button and hung to his feet. Doctors believe that the tumor’s removal could mean a new shot at life for the 63-year-old.
“I'm so looking forward to doing regular things,” said West. “It's going to change my life tremendously.”
According to the Daily Mail, West first noticed the growth in 1999. It rapidly grew, making it difficult for him to walk and causing infections. His wife said that the tumor was making her husband so ill that he had chills in the middle of the night.
"Two o'clock in the morning, he'll start getting the chills, teeth chattering chills and high fever. And what are you going to do at two o'clock in the morning?" said his wife, Charlotte.
Prior to meeting Dr. Vip Dev, doctors refused to perform a removal surgery because it was too risky. The tumor was composed of hardened fat and infected hair follicles, but also had its own blood supply.
"These things grow into balls of what we call fibrous scar tissue, and literally, he has multiple of those. And they are so big, you can't even study them because we don't have an M.R.I. or C.T. scan to be able to fit him in," said Dr. Dev.
West is expected to need two more surgeries before he can begin to go back to normal. In the surgery Tuesday, doctors removed about 32 lbs. of the tumor from West’s abdomen. His expected recovery time, after all three surgeries are complete, is about three to four months.