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Publication: The Times Of India Delhi;
Date: Aug 4, 2012;	 Section: Times Nation;	 Page: 18
Arun Janardhanan | TNN

When doctors at Gover nment Eye Hospital in Chennai looked into the eye 
of a woman with an eye tumour, they found something they had previously 
only read about in medical literature two fully grown teeth
in the tumour.

Orbital teratoma

Nagabhushanam, 23, from Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, was born with a rare 
condition, orbital teratoma, causing a huge tumour to grow in her left eye. 
The tumour had blinded the eye. Doctors removed the teeth in a rare surgery 
but said she may not regain vision as the optic nerve was damaged.

Nagabhushanam came to the hospital on July 16 and asked the doctors to remove
the large tumour. The tumour, which was small at birth, grew large over a 
period of time. Her left eye was pushed inside and skin protruded, blocking 
her vision and damaging the optic nerve.

Orbital teratoma

During tests, doctors found two teeth inside the tumour. Ophthalmologists 
identified it as orbital teratoma. Nagabhushanam used to work as a domestic 
help. Not many case histories are available for this condition, said hospital 
director Dr K Vasantha.

Research journals suggest that the first case was identified 149 years ago. 
Since then, less than 100 cases have been reported from across the world. 
Medical journals in India quote two cases. In some cases, hair, eye, foetal, 
feet or limbs develop in the tumour when adult cells that form
these parts enter the growth. We know two cases where teeth were embedded 
in the tumour, she said.

Nagabhushanam was wheeled in for surgery last Thursday and doctors removed 
the tumour. During the operation, doctors found another growth under the eye, 
close to the cheekbone.

We did not remove that. It does not matter because there is no possibility 
of it growing further and it does not cause her pain, said Dr Yogeswari 
Alagappan, one of the surgeons. Such tumours, she said, are non-cancerous.

But restoration of vision may not be possible, she said. But the surgery has 
taken a weight off Nagabhushanam.

I used to feel shy about my looks. I often felt bad about the protruding 
tumour and I thought it was a curse on me. I am relieved. My burden is gone, 
she said.


Teratoma, a Greek word, means monstrous growth. Orbital teratoma tumours are 
rare among birth disorders of the eye. Such tumours are noncancerous, but fatal


The first case of orbital teratoma was reported in 1862. Since then 70 cases, 
including two from India, have been reported. In India, it was found in an 
18-month-old male child and 6-month-old baby girl

Indian Journal Of Opthamology reports that the advances in neuron-imaging 
techniques have made pre-operative diagnosis simpler so that it helps in 
proper planning of surgical approach to obtain good results

Pathologically, Orbital Teratomas have been associated with a 30% mortality 
rate, secondary to either the growth of the tumour or to spontaneous rupture, 
leading to infection

Unlike most ophthalmic surgeries, removal of orbital teratoma is being done 
under general anaesthesia and with one unit of blood transfusion. The surgery, 
which was done for free for the patient under the chief ministerís comprehensive 
health insurance scheme, costs Rs 20,000- 30,000 Doctors have stopped growth 
of eye, hair, teeth, hands, feet and fetus in orbital teratoma. It often grows 
into a monstrous tumour and blinds the eye

PRESENT AND PAST: Nagabhushanam recovering after the surgery at 
Government Eye Hospital in Chennai

Source:Publication: The Times Of India Delhi;
Date: Aug 4, 2012;	 Section: Times Nation;	 Page: 18
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