Basketball-sized tumor

Local doctors are revolutionizing normally complex liver surgeries with a new robotic procedure.

The surgeons were able to remove a growth the size of a basketball with a half-inch incision.

“I was just blown away,” said Gwendolyn Brazil, patient.

Brazil feels like a huge weight has been lifted off her.

Doctors recently removed a basketball-sized mass from her liver.

“That looks like an alien. Because it was on part of my liver, but it was on the top of it,” Brazil said.

Brazil said she has lost 15 pounds since the surgery last week. She is looking forward to her new life.

Brazil said before the procedure she had trouble doing the simplest things like eating and breathing.

“I left the gym literally crying because I couldn’t finish my workout,” she said.

That has all changed now thanks to Dr. Maher Ghanem and Dr. Samuel Shaheen. The surgeons spent four and a half hours removing the benign tumor.

“It definitely feels very rewarding for me as a physician because this is what we do day in and day out is to help people,” Ghanem said.

The procedure took place at Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital in Saginaw.

Ghanem and Shaheen used the Da Vinci Robotic System to become the first surgeons in Michigan to ever remove 80 percent of a liver using robot assistance.

“We are providing this level of service and this advanced technology that will save them the struggle of going somewhere else to seek medical care,” Ghanem said.

As for Brazil, she is grateful she has the chance to be Ghanem’s patient.

“He is like one of the best doctors that I have ever encountered in my life,” she said.

She is thankful for the entire team at Ascension St. Mary’s who came together to make her quality of life better.

“I just want to thank all of those people that helped me through this,” Brazil said.

Copyright 2018 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Digital Content Producer


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