Today's Most: Doctors remove 47-pound tumor from Tucson woman

Published: Jun. 10, 2014 at 1:05 PM MST|Updated: Jun. 23, 2014 at 10:47 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - TODAY'S MOST...Amazing surgery: Doctors removed a 47-pound tumor from a woman's stomach here in Tucson.

It took surgeons at the University of Arizona Medical Center 10 hours to complete the surgery. Marcey DiCaro actually suffered a heart attack during the procedure, but doctors were able to bring her through.

The tumor was in DiCaro's vena cava - which is the body's largest vein and carries blood from the rest of the body back to the heart. Doctors say if they hadn't removed the tumor, it would have become even bigger, started to target other organs, and ultimately been fatal.

The surgery was done in April, and after several weeks of recovery, DiCaro was able to go home. "If the tumor had been let go, it would have killed me," DiCaro said. "The whole team approach was wonderful. I'm happy to be going on walks and getting back in the pool and getting out and enjoying life."

DiCaro first felt some pain in 2011, and had a scan that revealed a tumor in March of 2012. She didn't have insurance, and couldn't find any because of pre-existing conditions. Ultimately, she was able to sign up for insurance under Obamacare. The tumor had grown in the time it took to get insurance, and that made the surgery more difficult.

Dr Tun Jie, one of the surgeons in charge of the surgery, said, "the surgery was quite challenging. This was a situation that was not easy to tackle and not all surgeons would have gone forward with it."

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