Florida surgeon removes healthy kidney he thought was tumor

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STOKESLEY, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 08: Surgical instruments are laid out ahead of surgery on the leg of a racehorse at the Hambleton Equine Clinic on February 8, 2018 in Stokesley, England. The facility is the only purpose built equine clinic in North Yorkshire and provides a full range of equine services to the professional and […]

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.

The Florida Department of Health has filed an administrative complaint with the Board of Medicine against Vazquez.

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