Jacksonville 20-year-old gets a second chance at life after having a 104-pound ovarian tumor removed

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A 20-year-old woman has a second shot at life, after the removal of a 104-pound ovarian tumor.

Allison Fisher was reunited with her lifesavers a.k.a. her surgeons, on Wednesday. Her team of medical professionals removed the 104-pound cyst growing inside of her, carrying about 46 liters of fluid.


“I let myself believe that if I ignored it, it would go away,” Fisher said. “I was scared. I was just really scared.”

Fisher was afraid to go to the doctor. She feared finding out what was wrong, but she also feared they would tell her what she has always been told.

“[Growing up,] regardless of what I was there for—whether it was a cold or an ear infection, I was always told, ‘you need to lose weight. You need to lose weight,’” Fisher said. “If no one’s going to listen to me, if they’re always gonna tell me I need to lose weight, then what’s the point of going? What’s the point of listening to my body?”

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Fisher’s father passed away when she was 16 and she said she stopped paying attention to her health. In 2020, she began having irregular bleeding and stomach pain back. She said her menstrual cycle lasted almost a year. Still, she pushed the pain off.

“It was also — you know — the height of the pandemic, and I was terrified to go out,” Fisher said. “I didn’t want to try to find doctors. I also didn’t have health insurance, so I just ignored my issues completely.”

Her symptoms persisted. Fisher couldn’t stand up for more than five minutes. She couldn’t drive a car because of the size of her stomach. It was rock solid and made it difficult to move.

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“I felt like I was pregnant with 10 kids,” Fisher said. “I couldn’t lay on my stomach. It felt like all my organs were being crushed.”

It wasn’t until October 2022, as her mother was fighting cancer, that the 20-year-old made the choice to go to the doctor.

Right before Christmas, Fisher went to St. Vincent’s Riverside. The mass in her stomach was so large it was impacting her breathing. Dr. Martin Martino, a gynecologic oncology surgeon at Ascension St. Vincent’s, took on her case and used robotic technology to remove the ovarian tumor.

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“We’ve seen ‘em big, but to remove them through little incisions, I haven’t done that before,” Martino said. The robotics gave Dr. Martino an extended reach into Fisher’s stomach.

The robotic-assisted technique can handle tiny incisions and zoom into hard-to-see spots. It also means less pain, less scarring and faster recovery.

“What was really interesting in your [Fisher’s] case is that once we removed it, we looked at the other ovary because now we could see it, and the left ovary was twisted three times,” Dr. Martino said. “That [the left ovary] was about 10 centimeters that really helped us to be able to untwist it and save your [Fisher’s] future fertility, and the chance to have kids.”

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Going forward, Fisher hopes to do all the things she hasn’t been able to do because of her ovarian tumor—like learning how to drive and cooking meals with her mom.

“There are other people out there who are in my shoes, other bigger people, who are just so scared to go to the doctor because of their weight,” Fisher said. “I just want them to know that they shouldn’t be scared.”

For more information on Ascension St. Vincent’s Center for Gynecologic Oncology and Advanced Women’s Health, call 904-308-1350.

PHOTOS: 20-year-old Allison Fisher reunited with lifesaving surgeons after removal of 104-pound tumor

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