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November 17

Surgeon removes healthy kidney he thought was a tumor

WELLINGTON. A Florida surgeon removed a healthy kidney from a woman when she underwent surgery on her back because he believed the vital organ was a cancerous tumor.

The Palm Beach Post reported last week that Maureen Pacheco was suing Ramon Vasquez and two other surgeons for negligence. Vasquez was in charge of the autopsy on Pacheco in 2016 so that two orthopedic surgeons, Dr. John Britt and Dr. Jeffrey Coogler, could perform back surgery.

Pacheco’s lawyer, Donald J. Ward, says she had no say in the removal. The suit was settled in September. Vasquez’s lawyer, Mark Mittelmark, claims the Wellington Regional Medical Center did not tell his client that Pacheco had a pelvic kidney.

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