FEB 09, 2017 12:58 PM PST

Misdiagnosed: 'Fat' Man Actually Plagued With 130-Pound Tumor


In an extreme case of misdiagnosis, 57-year-old Roger Logan from Mississippi was told that his growing stomach was just due to fat accumulation. After years of being told he was morbidly obese, a doctor in California revealed that Mr. Logan was actually carrying a massive tumor in his abdomen – 130 pounds of tumor, to be exact.

Image credit: Kitty LoganMr. Logan is an antiques art dealer who began to gain significant weight about 12 years ago. Doctors told him it was “just fat.” However, as time went on, the mass on his abdomen took on a life of its own and grew out of control. The mass weighed heavily like an anchor and kept his legs from touching for years. Eventually, it confined Mr. Logan to an armchair at his home – he had to give up nearly all normal activities, including walking and working in his shop.

"I used to equate it, you just put a strap around your neck and carry three bags of cement around with you all day long, just swinging," said Mr. Logan.

Frustrated and spiraling into depression, Mr. Logan’s wife sought different opinions. They traveled to Bakersfield Memorial Hospital in California to see Dr. Vipul Dev, an astonished surgeon who diagnosed the mass not as fat, but as a massive tumor. Even more wild, Dr. Dev suspected that the origin of this tumor was likely an ingrown hair that became infected.

Fortunately, tests confirmed the tumor was benign. However, its sheer size was concerning – it had grown so large that it had developed its own blood supply. For this reason, other doctors with whom Mr. Logan consulted rated the odds of a successful surgery at a meager 50 percent. Dr. Dev, however, had more confidence. "We're fortunate to have a facility like this where we can do this kind of surgery with very little or no complications," said Dr. Dev.

It took an untold number of hours for the surgical team to remove the tumor. By the end of it, Mr. Logan had shed 130 pounds of a tumor that overshadowed him for over a decade.

After losing the mass, Mr. Logan accomplished something he couldn’t do in years: he walked. “My feet are together,” Mr. Logan said. “They haven’t been together in years.”

As for the armchair on which his tumor rested for years, Mr. Logan has no problem saying goodbye. “I never want to see that armchair again,” he said

He will spend a few short weeks in California recovering before going home, half the weight but twice the spirit.

Additional sources: CNN, Bakersfield Californian

About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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