Florida surgeon removes healthy kidney he thought was tumor

State / Regional
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BERLIN, GERMANY – JUNE 17: Scissors, tweezers and other surgical instruments lie in a operation room at the Unfallkrankenhaus Berlin (UKB) hospital in Marzahn district on June 17, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. The UKB hospital has among the most modern emergency care services in Germany. (Photo by Theo Heimann/Getty Images)

WELLINGTON, Fla. (AP) – A Florida surgeon removed a woman’s healthy kidney while she was undergoing back surgery because he believed the vital organ was a cancerous tumor.

The Palm Beach Post reported last week that Maureen Pacheco has sued Ramon Vazquez and two other surgeons for malpractice. Vazquez was responsible for cutting Pacheco open in 2016 so two orthopedic surgeons, Dr. John Britt and Dr. Jeffrey Kugler, could perform the back operation.

Pacheco’s attorney, Donald J. Ward, says she didn’t get a say in the removal. The lawsuit was settled in September. Vazquez’s attorney Mark Mittelmark says the blame lies with Wellington Regional Medical Center, which didn’t tell his client that Pacheco had a pelvic kidney.

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