Portrait No. 67

Lam Qua, 1801-1860
Physical Description:
61 cm. x 47 cm.
Framed, oil on board
Man with a large pigmented mass from the buttocks.
Chinese Repository, vol. 5, 1836-1837, Fifth Ophthalmic Report: p. 457, No 2231. Nov 21st Congenital tumor. Wang Ke-King, aged 27 is the son of a respectable tea broker, resident in Canton. The history of the tumor is as follows: It was observed at the birth of the child that the nates of the right side were unusually large, ‘a little fat’ as his nurse expressed it. The child did not attract particular attention until eight years old, when the preternatural enlargement had become conspicuous. Till within a few years the growth was gradual, but for the last four years its increase has been rapid, and it is now nearly one third of the weight if the man. It is suspended apparently by fibrous bands, from the first of the last ribs on the back, the spinous processes and ilium, and nates. Its attachment covers a surface of about a square foot. The tumor extends a little below the knees. (…) The weight is variously estimated from 60 to 100 pounds. When the man sits down the tumor forms a circular cushion which elevates him six inches or more in his chair. It is relaxed according to the weather is hot or cold. In the morning the skin is corrugated upon its surface. The color of the skin upon the tumor, and a few inches upon the back and down the thighs is of a dark color, resembling a mole. There are masses somewhat distinct, which appear glandular. It is free from pain, and the young man has enjoyed good health. He is of a nervous temperament, all his motions quick, and very sensitive of the slightest touch. When he came to the hospital there was a large sore, formed by lying upon the right hip, and the callous and dead skin resembled thick leather. (…) The integument is distinct from the tumor [after the incision]. Of the feasibility and desirableness of removing the tumor, I have no further doubt, and am corroborated in the opinion of the gentlemen, among whom are Scotch, French, English surgeons who have examined the case, and in whose discrimination and judgment I have great confidence. Previous, to the incision, the main objection to an operation was the unwillingness of his wife; the removal now seems more formidable to the man himself. Whether it shall be attempted or not, depends upon him and his relations to determine.
From Peter Parker’s journal: “Case Study from Peter Parker's Journal, (no date provided). "Man, aged 27. Weight of tumor, nearly one third of the weight of the man. Weight estimated variously from 60 to 100 pounds. When the man sits down, the tumor forms a chair or cushion, which elevates him 6 inches or more from his chair. It is relaxed according as the weather is hot or cold. Of the feasibility and desirability of removing the tumor, I have no further doubt. The main objection to the operation, on the part of the patient and his friends, was the unwillingness of his wife. The patient was not operated on. Later when this patient died, an attempt was made to secure a necropsy, but this was not obtainable."
Donated by Peter Parker to the Yale School of Medicine and transferred to the Historical Library.
Variant Titles:
Wang Ke-king
Medicine, Chinese
Missions and Missionaries
Missions, Medical
Case No. 2231
Parker, Peter, 1804-1888
Wang Ke-king
paintings (AAT)
Content Type:
Paintings & Drawings
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Access Restrictions:
Source Title:
Peter Parker Collection
Yale Collection:
Cushing/Whitney Medical Library
Digital Collection:
Lam Qua's Portraits of Peter Parker's Patients