November 30, 2004
Man Has Golf Ball-Sized Gallstone Removed
LOS ANGELES - A gallstone the size of a golf ball - about 16 times the size of a normal one - has been removed from a 56-year-old man, doctors say. The massive growth was the result of a stent inadvertently left in his body from a pancreatic operation more than a decade ago.
Gonzalo Medina underwent surgery Monday at a hospital in Los Angeles. The procedure "went fine," according to his doctor, Ian Kenner.
"In 30 years of treating gallstones, I have never seen one of this size," Kenner said, adding it was amazing that Medina wasn't killed by it. "It's a tribute to the human body, and in this case, a particularly resilient one."
More than a year ago, Medina began suffering from chills, stomach pain and fever. A scan taken in October revealed a stent had been left in his body during surgery 12 years ago, officials said.
Medina previously underwent a procedure that sends shock waves to the gallstone to fragment it while the patient is submerged in water. He will likely face more operations, doctors said.
"It took 12 years getting into this state, and now we are trying to get him free of problems," Medina's doctor said.