Six Organs Removed To Eliminate Tumor
Brooke Zepp was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma – a rare form of cancer. But the “inoperable” tumor was buried deep in 63-year-old’s abdomen. Brooke’s stomach, pancreas, spleen, liver, and small and large intestines were blocking access to the cancerous mass that was wrapped around her aorta and other major arteries. There was only one way to get to the tumor, and that was by removing all six organs.
UM/Jackson physician Dr. Tomoaki Kato had to do what many thought couldn’t be done. Dr. Kato, a pioneer in multi-organ transplantation, along with a team of eight additional surgeons, essentially had to empty Brooke’s abdomen. Her organs were removed, chilled, and preserved during a painstaking 15-hour operation at Jackson Memorial. Then, the surgeons cut out the tumor and repaired the surrounding blood vessels.
After the successful tumor removal, the organs were re-implanted. Three weeks later, Brooke went home to continue her recovery.
The surgery was unprecedented at the time; never before had six organs been removed from a patient’s abdomen to allow doctors to go after a malignant growth considered inoperable.
Dec. 1920 Jackson History
The Growth of Miami’s Black Medical Community. Link opens story page.
For more than a century, African Americans have played an integral part in Miami’s socio-political development.Explore in story page.
Mar. 2018 Jackson History
Centennial Narrative – James Jones. Link opens story page.
James Jones was born at Jackson Memorial Hospital in October 1980 – one of several professional athletes and celebrities born at Jackson.Explore in story page.
Apr. 1946 Jackson History
Jackson’s First Chief of Staff, Dr. Skaggs, Dies. Link opens story page.
In 1946, Jackson’s First Chief of Staff, Dr. Skaggs, died. He was a pioneer physician, treating minorities during a time of deep segregation.Explore in story page.