A Harlem mom was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, underwent disfiguring surgery to have her left breast removed and had additional procedures to deal with complications — only to learn she never had the disease in the first place.
“I didn’t know whether to smile and thank God I didn’t have cancer or cry because I’ve been through so much,” Eduvigis Rodriguez, 51, told The Post.
Rodriguez’s nightmare began after she felt a lump in her breast and had a biopsy done at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital, she says in a medical-malpractice suit.
It turns out she had a condition known as sclerosing adenosis — benign extra growth tissue in the breast lobules — but hospital pathologist Dr. Jean Marc-Cohen misinterpreted her biopsy results, according to the civil suit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Marc-Cohen, the suit says, mistakenly determined that Rodriguez had infiltrating ductal carcinoma, the most common form of breast cancer.
Rodriguez was then sent for surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital — and the error was only compounded there, the suit says.
Lenox Hill has had a procedure in place since 2012 that requires all pathology reports done by other institutions to be reviewed by its own medical staff before authorizing major surgery, such as a mastectomy, the court papers say.
Such a review allegedly never took place.
But Rodriguez’s surgeon, Dr. Magdi Bebawi, still signed a Lenox Hill form before surgery that read, “I certify that outside pathology slides have been reviewed by the hospital’s pathology department,” the suit says.