More than 200,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, including Eduvigis Rodriguez. She was 49 years-old when she noticed a lump in her left breast. Based on a biopsy performed at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in New York City, Dr. Jean-Marc Cohen identified what he thought was infiltrating ductal carcinoma. This type of cancer is both common and aggressive. Rodriguez opted for a mastectomy, which was performed by Dr. Magdi Bebawi in April 2015 at Lenox Hill Hospital. But according to a medical malpractice lawsuit filed on behalf of Rodriguez, she never had cancer in the first place and the removal of her left breast was unwarranted.
According to the lawsuit, filed in a Manhattan court, the initial diagnosis of cancer allegedly turned out to be sclerosing adenosis, which is a growth of noncancerous tissue.
The alleged negligence of both hospitals and doctors was uncovered after the surgery when testing was conducted on the severed breast. The testing showed no cancerous cells in either the breast or the initial biopsy. The lawsuit claims that no one at Lenox Hill Hospital reviewed the pathology report conducted at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital, which is standard protocol at the facility when the report is done by an outside physician.
“After the surgery, when I was told that the review of the biopsy showed no cancer, I immediately called her and made her aware that I am very sorry and I feel very bad that we did this procedure for no cancer,” said Dr. Bebawi, who is now on medical leave.
After finding out she never had cancer, Rodriguez was shocked and emotionally devastated. In addition to the avoidable surgery, blood clots allegedly formed in her lungs, she experienced surgical hernia, and suffered from a pulmonary embolism, all as a result of the misdiagnosis. Rodriguez is now suing the doctors and hospitals that treated her for negligence. She is looking to be awarded damages for her pain and suffering, as well as past and future medical expenses.
“I want justice, and I want explanations,” said Eduvigis Rodriguez. “I do not want to see this happen to anyone else. I had confidence in the surgeon and the hospitals, but I cannot believe all the mistakes that were made.”