Surgeon fined $3K for removing kidney he thought was tumor

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Dr. Ramon Vazquez, who mistook Maureen Pacheco’s “fully-functioning” kidney for a cancerous mass and removed it, has agreed to pay $3,000 in addition to other penalties. (Handout)

The Florida Board of Medicine says a West Palm Beach surgeon has agreed to pay a $3,000 fine for removing a woman’s healthy kidney that he thought was a tumor.

The Palm Beach Post reports Ramon Vazquez was responsible for cutting Maureen Pacheco open in 2016 so two other surgeons could perform a back operation.

Pacheco had a kidney that never ascended into her abdomen, and Vazquez believed it was a cancerous tumor near her pelvis and removed it without her consent. Vazquez has said that he didn’t review her medical records before the surgery.

Pacheco later sued the two primary doctors, who each settled for $250,000. Vazquez was also sued for malpractice and settled the case for a nominal amount.

Vazquez must also attend training on preoperative patient evaluation.