A child from Germany with a rare case of perforated echinococcal cyst was operated on by ‘Mama and I’ surgeons

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A 10-year-old girl with a perforated echinococcal cyst has been successfully operated on in ‘Mama and I’. The child was born and raised in Germany. The family originally came from Stara Zagora and went abroad years ago. A delay in their daughter’s treatment in Germany for nearly a year and a half led the relatives to seek contact with specialists at the center of clinical excellence in Pleven. In medical practice, cases of perforated echinococcal cyst are common in adults, but in children they are extremely rare, informed Dr. Vladislav Genov, MD – head of the anesthesiology and intensive care department.

It all started with a trivial accident – the child fell while playing and then collapsed. During the first examinations after the fall, doctors found a lung cyst, which they treated for weeks.

“Tracing the chronology of this case to date, we presume it was a ruptured echinococcal cyst that had drained through the bronchi. The latter is of great importance, because otherwise the cyst would have spilled into the chest and a severe anaphylactic reaction could have ensued, with potentially fatal consequences. The drainage has practically saved the life of the child, who from the beginning was up for emergency surgery,” the specialists said.

After the problem was diagnosed, a difficult period began for the family in Germany – going to doctors, tests, procedures and consultations. Doctors there try to treat the child without applying radical action. No one explains to the parents why their child cannot be operated on. At the same time, the girl is forced to learn to live with the consequences that accompany her health problem – maintaining a fever, general malaise, lack of a normal active lifestyle for a child of that age. She is often absent from school. All these circumstances, as well as the fact that some time ago the father underwent successful surgery with the breast surgeon Prof. Evelyn Obretenov, made the parents seek contact again with the teams of ‘Mama and I’ and ‘Heart and Brain’.

Upon admission of the child to the modern hospital in Pleven, full examinations and a categorical decision for emergency surgery by a multidisciplinary team of specialists followed. The doctors performed a so-called pyramidectomy – the part of the lung that was covered by the cyst was removed. The specialists are adamant that if the operation had been carried out immediately, when the problem was diagnosed, it would have been possible to remove only the cyst without the subsequent removal of the affected part of the lung.

The little patient is feeling well and is now back with her family in Germany.

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