Alabama-based Kayla Rahn had to undergo surgery to remove a 50-pound mass from her ovary on Wednesday
to remove a 50-pound mass from her ovary
Rahn told INSIDER that she was Unexplained weight gain and pain experienced last year. Some doctors told her that the solution was weight loss.
Last month she was diagnosed with a benign ovarian mass known as a mucinous cystadenoma at the Jackson Hospital in Montgomery, Alabama. 1
INSIDER also spoke to Dr. med. Gregory Jones, a doctor who helped remove the crowd. He said his size was "quite irregular"
Rahn and Jones both emphasized that patients should never stop promoting themselves in the doctor's office.
Warning: This item contains a graphical representation of the mass.
A 30-year-old woman in Alabama spent months gaining weight, which she was unable to explain. It was only in May that doctors discovered the cause: a 50-pound growth on their ovaries.
Kayla Rahn began last year with pain, upset stomach and weight gain, NBC affiliate WSFA reported on Wednesday.
In an interview with INSIDER, Rahn said she first noticed the symptoms towards the end of last summer. Her stomach felt hard and her clothes did not fit. She had so much trouble breathing that she could not play outside with her nieces and nephews. Some evenings, the pain had shed tears, she reminded herself, and she could not wear sneakers without the help of her boyfriend.
Soon she drew unsolicited comments from strangers who falsely believed she was pregnant.
"I had people I did not even know coming in and rubbing my stomach or wondering when I was due, people [were] loading my shopping and a lady asking me if I had any twins" she told INSIDER. "That's not cool – you never know what a person is going through."
Rahn knew something was wrong – but months passed before she knew exactly what it was.
Rahn saw a handful of different doctors before their ovarian mass was discovered.
Rahn told INSIDER that she had seen four different doctors, several times as she wanted to investigate the mysterious symptoms. But she remembered that she had told her that weight loss was the solution to her problems.
"It somehow made me helpless because I was trying to lose weight," Rahn INSIDER said.
Last month, on a day when her pain reached unbearable levels, Rahn's mother took her to the emergency room at the Jackson Hospital in Montgomery, Alabama, WSFA reported.
There, finally, testing revealed that she had a gigantic mass on her ovary: a mucinous cystadenoma, according to a hospital press release. Rahn recalls an emergency doctor who describes the growth with much catchy terms.
"He gave me the dimensions [of the mass] and I looked at him with a blank look," she told INSIDER. "He said," Basically, you have a watermelon in your stomach.
She was removed from surgery the next day, the hospital press release said
Gynecologist Dr. Gregory Jones, one of the two doctors who performed the operation, said the growth was unusually large.
In an interview with INSIDER Jones, this type of growth – which can be categorized as a cyst or tumor – happens when certain ovarian cells become trapped in a balloon-like cyst lining.
"It will continue to expand and grow until it either bursts or it is removed," he said.
A 2013 case report on this topic reported that these growths are benign in most cases. Jones said that was also Rahns.
Jones has seen and removed these growths before.
"But they are always not that big," he said. "This was pretty irregular, making it progress to that point." Believe it or not, this is not the first massive growth of the ovaries in 2018. In May, a woman had removed a 132-pound mucinous cystadenoma in a surgery operation in Connecticut, INSIDER previously reported.
Rahn's experience is a powerful reminder that patients sometimes need to become stubborn self-advocates in their doctors' offices.
This is especially true when a patient has a heavier, larger body.
An increasing body of evidence suggests that some physicians have strong negative opinions about heavier patients, according to a 2015 report in the Obesity Reviews journal. These opinions can affect the type of care that heavier patients get. This paper from 2015 cited research that shows that doctors, for example, spend less time with overweight patients.
And there is no shortage of anecdotes from patients who say that they have experienced weight-related distortions in the medical environment. A recent story in Cosmopolitan highlighted a woman coughing blood and fighting to breathe. The doctors told her to lose weight, but it turned out that she had cancer.
Both Jones and Rahn said all patients should be persistent when something is wrong.
"If you see something wrong, take it to your doctor," Jones said. "We are human and sometimes we do not see what the patient has seen, or we may not know what the patient is having problems with, but bring it on and if you are not satisfied, do a follow-up appointment."
He also suggested writing down your concerns on a list and going to the doctor's office and asking a lover to mark him on appointments.
"Sometimes [loved ones] you have an insight that you do not have or you see the same problem in a different way," Jones said. "Different communication styles sometimes allow us as doctors to better understand what's going on and help make that diagnosis."
Rahn repeated this feeling.
"No one knows your body as if you knew your body," she told INSIDER. "If you notice something wrong with you, ask for a referral, call other doctors, do not stop, just keep going."
After successful tumor removal, Rahn recovers.
Released to work in mid-July, she told INSIDER that despite the foot cut in her abdomen, she found it difficult to bend over. She feels "really good".
"As soon as I was able to move a bit better, I think I tried on every shirt in my wardrobe that I could not wear in a long time," she said. "That was fun."
Watch her interview with WSFA here:
WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama News.