Indian doctors remove giant 7.4 kilo kidney from man

In this handout photograph taken on October 29, 2019 and released by Sir Ganga Ram Hospital on November 25, 2019, hospital staff members pose for photographs as they hold a diseased kidney after a surgery in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi. (AFP)
Updated 25 November 2019

Indian doctors remove giant 7.4 kilo kidney from man

  • The 7.4 kilogramme (16.3 pound) kidney is one of the biggest ever removed in an operation
  • The Guinness Book of Records says the largest kidney removed from a human was 4.25kg

NEW DELHI: Indian surgeons have cut a kidney weighing the same as a bowling ball out of a man with a life-threatening genetic condition, a surgeon said Monday.
The 7.4 kilogramme (16.3 pound) kidney is one of the biggest ever removed in an operation.
“It was a huge lump that was occupying half of his abdomen. We knew it was a big kidney but never thought it would be this heavy,” said Sachin Kathuria, a member of the surgical team, told AFP.
The 56-year-old patient, suffering from autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, underwent the two-hour operation at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi last month.
A normal kidney weighs about 120 to 150 grams (four to five ounces) and is 12 centimeters (four inches) long.
Kathuria said the kidney cut out from the man was nearly 45 centimeters (18 inches) long.
The Guinness Book of Records says the largest kidney removed from a human was 4.25kg in an operation in Dubai in 2017.
Doctors at the New Delhi hospital said however they had found medical accounts of a kidney weighing nine kilos being cut from a patient.
The disease the unnamed man was suffering from causes cysts full of fluids to start growing in kidneys. Doctors called for the operation when they detected internal bleeding and spreading infections.
Kathuria said the man was now in good condition and on dialysis awaiting a kidney transplant.


Tower of London ravens re-adapt to life after lockdown

Updated 19 October 2020

Tower of London ravens re-adapt to life after lockdown

  • The 1,000-year-old royal fortress was closed due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions
  • This raised fears the birds — known as the guardians of the Tower — would fly away to find another place

LONDON: Chris Skaife has one of the most important jobs in Britain. As Yeoman Warder Ravenmaster at the Tower of London, he is responsible for the country’s most famous birds.
According to legend firmly rooted in Britain’s collective imagination, if all the ravens were to leave the Tower, the kingdom would collapse and the country be plunged into chaos.
Coronavirus lockdown restrictions saw tourist attractions across the country close their doors, including the imposing 1,000-year-old royal fortress on the banks of the River Thames.
That left Skaife with an unprecedented challenge of how to entertain the celebrated avian residents, who suddenly found themselves with no one to play with — or rob food from.
It also raised fears the birds — known as the guardians of the Tower — would fly away to try to find tasty morsels elsewhere, and worse still, risk the legend coming to pass.
There are eight ravens in captivity in the Tower of London: Merlina, Poppy, Erin, Jubilee, Rocky, Harris, Gripp and George.
A royal decree, purportedly issued in the 17th century, stated there must be six on site at any one time but Skaife said he keeps two as “spares,” “just in case.”
They are free to roam the grounds but to prevent them from flying too far, their wings are trimmed back slightly.
Back in March when lockdown began, Skaife — who is in his 50s and a retired staff sergeant and former drum major in the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment — was furloughed.
But he still came to work to look after his majestic feathered charges, rotating feeding and caring duties with his three assistants.
“During that period of time, the ravens didn’t actually see anybody,” he told AFP.
“There were slight changes that I noticed. For instance, I had to keep them occupied without the public being there (and) there were less things for them to do.
“So I gave them enrichment toys that would help them enjoy their day.”
With no people around, he put balloons, ladders and even mirrors in their cages to keep them entertained, and hid food around the Tower grounds for them to find.
Breakfast time involves Skaife, in the distinctive black and red uniform of the “Beefeaters,” distributing a meal of chicks and mice, which the ravens cheerfully devour.
Skaife’s favorite is Merlina, he reveals with a smile.
She has become an Internet favorite from his frequent posts and videos of her on his Instagram and Twitter accounts, which have more than 120,000 followers.
Once feeding time is over, he opens the cages on the south lawn to allow them to stretch their wings.
The Tower reopened its doors on July 10 but the pandemic has had a devastating effect on visitor numbers.
Some 60,000 people visited the Tower every week in October 2019 but it is now only 6,000, according to Historic Royal Palaces, which manages the site.
During the three-month national lockdown, Skaife said the ravens were given more freedom to explore other parts of the Tower.
But to be doubly sure they didn’t fly off completely, their wings were clipped back further.
The birds are now kept in their cages more often to make sure they eat enough, as there are slim pickings from the Tower’s rubbish bins because of the reduced footfall.
“I don’t particularly like doing it,” said Skaife.
He says the ravens may be kept in cages but the Tower is their real home.
“So, I would never want to keep a raven in an enclosure.”
Now, as life returns to a semblance of normality, the ravens are re-adapting to seeing more humans again and their old routine.
Skaife has looked after the ravens for the last 14 years, tending to their needs out of clear affection but also out of a sense of historic and patriotic duty.
“Of course, we don’t want the legend to come true,” he said.