Navigation Links
Woman's Abdominal Organs Removed in Unique Cancer Surgery

Taking out stomach, pancreas, liver, spleen, small intestine and large intestine led to lifesaving operation

MONDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- Brooke Zepp, a 63-year-old South Florida woman, was diagnosed last May with leiomyosarcoma, a rare cancerous tumor deep inside her abdomen that had wrapped itself around her aorta and other arteries that supply blood to vital organs such as the stomach, intestines and spleen.

Surgery wasn't an option, she was told, because there was literally no room to remove the tumor without damaging those vital organs. She was given six months to live.

Refusing to give up, Zepp went to the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center, where surgeons at The Transplant Institute performed what's believed to be the first operation of its kind: Early this month, they removed six of her internal organs, freeing up space to cut out the cancer, and then they reinserted the organs.

Usually, this is an inoperable tumor, Dr. Andreas Tzakis, director of The Transplant Institute, said during a Monday teleconference. "In order to remove the tumor, we took a very unusual approach. We removed all the organs along with the blood vessels and the tumor," he said.

Before undergoing the operation, Zepp had tried chemotherapy and radiation, both of which failed. The only option left was surgery, "but no one wanted to operate," Zepp said during the teleconference.

"Because people wouldn't operate and I wanted to live, I said, 'Somebody has to do it first,' " Zepp said. "And I wanted to prove to people, even though many doctors told me not to do this, that I thought it would be better to take a chance on living than on dying."

The organs removed during the 15-hour surgery were the stomach, pancreas, liver, spleen, small intestine and about two-thirds of the large intestine. Because of their delicate nature, the kidneys weren't taken out during the procedure, Tzakis noted.

"We had to move very quickly because the organs were removed from her body and she had no organs in the belly. And we had to move quickly to cut the tumor out," Tzakis said.

Once the tumor had been removed, Zepp's organs -- which had been kept chilled -- were placed back in her abdominal cavity and artificial blood vessels were put in and connected. In total, the organs were outside her body for about 90 minutes, Tzakis said.

Tzakis said the idea for the surgery was a natural extension of the work his team had been doing with multiple organ transplants.

"This is unique and brand-new, but pieces of the surgery were done before," Tzakis said. "We know how to remove organs -- we know how to put them in. We've done surgery to remove liver tumors, taking the liver out of the body, removing the tumor and putting the liver back in."

The Miami doctors have also performed similar operations removing tumors from intestines, Tzakis said. "So this came to us kind of naturally. We've done pieces, we just hadn't done the entire thing at one time," he added.

Zepp said she feels good. "I feel like I'm coming through a tunnel and I have a whole life ahead of me," she said.

She added: "I want the rest of the world to know that inoperable cancers can be operated on. Different cancer centers have different training and their own vision, and they don't think in the terms that a transplant surgeon would."

More information

For more on leiomyosarcoma, visit the American Cancer Society.

SOURCES: March 24, 2008, teleconference with Andreas Tzakis, M.D., director, The Transplant Institute, University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center; Brooke Zepp, Pompano Beach, Fla.

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Combo Treatment Ups Survival When Cancer Spreads to Abdominal Lining
2. Constipation most common cause of childrens abdominal pain
3. Abdominal Fat Tied to High Risk for Coronary Trouble
4. Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysms in women may save lives
5. Is it pancreatitis in acute abdominal pain in acute viral hepatitis?
6. Survival of newborns with abdominal holes differs according to hospital, Hopkins research shows
7. MultiVu Video Feed: FDA Approves DORIBAX(TM) (doripenem for injection) for the Treatment of Complicated Intra-abdominal and Complicated Urinary Tract Infections
8. Common abdominal pain may be due to a potentially treatable newly recognized inflammatory reaction
9. Hormone refractory prostate cancers more likely to spread to other organs
10. Doctors will soon be able to feel organs via a display screen
11. MU research team makes progress toward printing organs
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Woman's Abdominal Organs Removed in Unique Cancer Surgery
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published ... unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable ... less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. ... the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has ... , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension ... that it will receive two significant new grants to support its work to ... its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all ... brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join ... wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase ... of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... Devices Global Market - Forecast to 2022" report to ... the treatment method for the patients with kidney failure, it ... excess fluid from the patient,s blood and thus the treatment ... potassium and chloride in balance. Increasing number ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Ill. , June 23, 2016  In a startling report ... are failing their residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan to ... a definitive ranking of how states are tackling the worst ... to only four states – Kentucky , ... Vermont . Of the 28 failing states, three ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. ... company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization ... in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne clinical trial (Halt ... its 24-patient target. Capricor expects the trial to ... 2016, and to report top line data from ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: