WELLINGTON, Fla. — Jan 11, 2019, 6:38 AM ET

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


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.


Information from: The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post, http://www.pbpost.com

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  • ctla567

    Florida Board of Medicine is a joke. Clearly doctors on the Board are helping other doctors at patients expense. That "doctor" should be fired and license thrown out and the patient be awarded a lot more financial compensation of this terrible medical error. Unfortunately this is not an isolated case. According to an AARP Bulletin a year or two ago cause of patient's death due to medical errors rank third among all patient deaths.First was due to heart related illnesses, second was cancer. Clearly US medical schools are doing poorly in educating US doctors. But successfully making them the most expensive doctors in the world.

  • j penske

    He must have "earned" his medical degree online.

  • Bitter Clinger

    I've removed shrubbery before incorrectly thinking they were weeds or "trash plants" only to find out that I had paid to put them in.

  • RobertJohns

    That this guy still has a license is a clear sign that the Florida Board of Medicine needs to be investigated for incompetence and/or corruption.

  • ReviewTheFacts

    This is an egregious case of malpractice, which SHOULD result in removing his license to practice!

  • Justice4All2

    So if he killed someone from stupidity would his license be revoked?

  • Dicazi

    I'm not aware of cancerous tumors that have ureters attached. And lead to the bladder.

  • Don'tBotherMe

    "Vazquez must also attend training on preoperative patient evaluation."

    Isn't that already taught in medical school?

  • hold-the-phone

    "Vazquez must also attend training on preoperative patient evaluation."
    And a maybe follow-up course on basic anatomy? /s

  • 2 Tango - SP Augie

    His cardinal sin..."he didn't review her medical records before the surgery".

  • pete mancini

    I have lost so many people around me lately due to bad diagnostics . The doctors today are all in a hurry and expect you to diagnose yourself. They run from room to room .Their looking up your lab work after you have been sitting there for 20 minutes. Then the nurse is calling the lab to find out why it isn't there.

  • Tom K

    A small fine and training? His license should be revoked.

  • Traveler1

    Unfortunately, Florida is still the "wild west" when it comes to oversight and regulations of most professions. A decade ago a study commission by the AMA revealed that there was too much medical care provided particularly to elderly patient with little or no oversight. Often no need.

    Even if he thought it was a tumor, a sample should have been taken and sent to pathology STAT for a reading.

    All the doctors involved should have their licenses suspended.

  • Toshiro Histugaya

    Fined? He should have his license revoked.
    He can kill someone by not reviewing a patient's record ahead of time.

  • CatMom

    Most of us who treat patients took several courses in embryology, Too bad this guy "forgot" what he was taught. Duh.