Chinese and Vanuatu military doctors perform a rare giant thyroid tumor resection for a local patient onboard the Chinese naval hospital ship Peace Ark in Port Vila, Vanuatu on August 10, 2023. (Xinhua/Liu Wei)
PORT VILA, Vanuatu, Aug. 11 -- The Chinese and Vanuatu military doctors jointly performed a rare tumor resection operation aboard the Chinese naval hospital ship Peace Ark docking in Port Vila, Vanuatu, on the morning of August 10. The operation was completed successfully and the patient is recovering well.
The 31-year-old Kaut Estella living in Port Vila had found a small lump on the left of her neck in 2019, which gradually grew to the size of an apple lately due to limited local medical conditions. On the morning of August 9, Estella came to the Peace Ark for treatment, and the Chinese naval doctors checked that the giant tumor on her neck had reached about 10 cm. What's more, the CT scan results showed that the tumor had completely compressed her trachea and caused displacement, which would make her suffer from breathing difficulties and suffocation if not treated timely from an operation.
The doctors aboard the hospital ship determined the operation plan for Estella after a joint consultation. At 11 am on August 10, she was wheeled into the operating room. The Chinese military doctors, some surgical experts from the Chinese medical team to assist Vanuatu, and several local military doctors formed a joint expert treatment team, with the Chinese naval doctor Su Dongwei as the lead surgeon and military doctor John from Vanuatu Mobile Force (VMF) as the assistant. The two sides jointly performed the surgery. After an intense surgery that lasted for over an hour, a piece of tumor with a diameter of 10.5 cm and weighing about 500 g was successfully removed, and the patient was in a good postoperative state.
"I studied at the PLA Naval Medical University (NMU) in China for six years, and I feel very lucky to perform surgery for my countrymen with the teachers today," John said. He added that the Chinese teachers showed their superb medical skills, which was quite a rewarding lesson for him.
Since set sail for the Harmonious Mission 2023 from Zhoushan, East China's Zhejiang Province, on July 3, the Chinese naval hospital ship Peace Ark has provided medical service in three countries, Kiribati, Tonga and Vanuatu. As of August 10, it has treated more than 15,000 people and completed 72 surgeries including cesarean delivery, laparoscopic cholecystectomy, giant thyroid tumor resection, and radical cancer treatment, praised as a "boat of life" by the people in these countries.
The local patient Kaut Estella who suffered rare giant thyroid tumor takes a photo with her husband before the surgery on the Chinese naval hospital ship Peace Ark in Port Vila, Vanuatu on August 10, 2023. (Xinhua/Liu Wei)