In a story that will haunt you the next time you’re feeling run down and headachy, an Indianapolis woman studying computer science recently had surgery to remove what doctors believed to be a tumor causing both intense headaches and lethargy.
Yamini Karanam was so exhausted that at one point she “slept for two weeks straight.” What followed was visits to many different doctors until one seemed to discover the cause, a cyst in her pineal gland located deep within the brain.
But doctors felt that the cyst (or tumor) likely couldn’t be removed because of where it was. That’s when her friends stepped in to raise over $30,000 for a risky surgery to have it removed. Only Hrayr Shahinian, a doctor specializing in a very specific kind of surgery believed he could do it but once the surgery was underway they made a very, very creepy discovery. This was no cyst.
It was what’s known as a Teratoma , complete with bone, hair, and teeth. Many scientists believe that Teratoma’s are essentially undeveloped twins who are absorbed by a person in utero. Doctor Shahinian notes that they’re rare and that out of the 7 to 8,000 tumors he’s removed this was only the second Teratoma he’d seen.
Karanam’s surgery was 100% successful and she’s since made a full recovery.