TUCSON, Ariz. (CBS Las Vegas) – Doctors removed a 47-pound tumor from a woman’s stomach in a 10 hour surgery.

Marcey DiCaro suffered a heart attack during the procedure, but surgeons at the University of Arizona Medical Center were able to save her life. The tumor was located in her vena cava, which is the body’s largest vein and carries blood from the rest of the body back to the heart.

Doctors explained that if the tumor hadn’t been removed, it would have become even bigger and ultimately been fatal.

DiCarro had the surgery in April and after recovering for several weeks has been able to go home.

“If the tumor had been let go, it would have killed me,” DiCaro told KOLD. “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.”

She explained that she began to feel pain in 2011 and in March 2012 a scan revealed that she had a tumor. She didn’t have any insurance and couldn’t find a plan because of pre-existing conditions.

DiCaro was able to sign up for insurance under Obamacare. The surgery was extremely difficult because the tumor had grown quite a bit in the time it took for her to get insurance.

Dr. Tun Jie, one of the surgeons in charge of the surgery, told KOLD, “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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