Woman has 20-pound cyst removed from abdomen

Woman has 20-pound cyst removed from abdomen
The giant cyst stretched from Ashley Walden’s liver to her bladder. (Source: WTVF/CNN)

SPRINGFIELD, TN (WTVF/CNN) - A Tennessee woman lost 20 pounds in a few hours.

But it's not from any miracle diet or exercise, she had a massive cyst removed from her abdomen.

"I'm still just amazed and shocked," said Ashley Walden who had the cyst removed.

Walden said she feels lucky to be alive after the major surgery.

The procedure came after five years of suffering.

"I was having a lot of pain, a lot of discomfort, I just knew something wasn't right," Walden said.

Her doctor at the time diagnosed her with a benign ovarian cyst but the pain continued, and Walden started gaining weight.

"I ended up in the emergency room one night because I was hurting so bad I couldn't move,” she said. “That is when they did some tests and found the cyst had hit a growth spurt."

Walden looked six months pregnant.

Dr. Shana Dowell an obstetrician-gynecologist at Vanderbilt Center for Women's Health at Northcrest, told her she needed surgery immediately.

"She was walking down the hallway, toward the exam room and she could barely walk," Dowell said.

After backing out of surgery twice due to nerves, Walden finally let Dowell operate on her.

What she found inside her was startling.

"It went from her liver down to her bladder," said Dowell.

Last week, Dowell successfully removed a 20-pound cyst from her stomach. The procedure Walden said, changed her life.

"I'm very grateful that she was actually able to get it out and I'm here today for my kids, and that's because of her," Walden said.

"I didn't do anything for her that was so spectacular, I just took care of her," Dowell said.

Walden said she regrets not taking steps to end the pain sooner and wants others to learn from her mistake.

"It's not worth it, putting your health off, it’s not worth it, because one day it might be too late," Walden said.

Now Walden is focused on recovering and living a healthy life.

"She's done what she can do, now I've got to do what I can do. I've just got to get back to 100 percent now for my kids' sake," Walden said.

Walden she's spent the past two years unable to fully engage with her children.

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