Doctors in Peru have removed a 16kg (35lb) tumour from a woman’s abdomen, which had grown inside her since she was 13-years-old.

Irianita Rojas Rasma, 22, struggled to sleep, walk and breath as the tumour on her ovaries grew larger.

“It's as if she were pregnant, but twice the size,” hospital director Dr. Luis Garcia Bernal told Reuters

"The tumor was approximately 50 centimeters (19.6 inches) in diameter."

Ms Rasma, who is part of an indigenous community in the remote Loreto region of northeastern Peru, had lived with the tumour for almost a decade until she was operated on..

Doctors at Archbishop Loayza National Hospital worked for three hours to take out the tumour from Ms Rasma. 

She is now in good health, and is expected to make a full recovery. 

Ms Rasma said that she thought she would always have to suffer with the tumour until she met Peru’s Health Minister Anibal Velasquez Valdivia by chance when he was travelling in the region, CNN reported. 

After meeting Ms Rasma, he organised for her to be flow to the capital of Lima to be examined and treated.

“I never thought I would be operated on,” Rojas said, according to a statement published by the Health Ministry seen by CNN.

“I'm happy now because I'm recovering and I will be able to fulfill my dream of studying accounting.”