Briana Leschen recently celebrated her 34th birthday – a milestone she may not have been able to achieve if not for David J. Dupree, M.D., a board-certified general surgeon at Monmouth Medical Center who removed a complicated, extremely rare 10-pound tumor from Briana's abdomen.
"After a few months into my new exercise program I noticed that my abdomen was really sore, which I thought was unusual because I'm in good shape. When I felt a lump, I knew it was time to seek medical advice," said Briana, a mother of two from Morganville, N.J.
After visiting her primary care physician, Briana was referred to Dr. Dupree. "As soon as I met Dr. Dupree, I knew instantly that I would be in good hands."
A CT scan revealed a large mass in Briana's abdomen. Several tests later, there was still no definitive diagnosis, other than learning that the mass was actually a 10-pound tumor.
"I had no symptoms – no appetite change, no weight change. It was the last thing anyone would ever expect," said Briana. "Dr. Dupree said it needed to come out, and he was incredibly compassionate. He made himself available to answer any questions and was extremely patient."
Dr. Dupree performed Briana's surgery and found that the abdominal mass was a mesenteric fibromatosis tumor– so rare that only about 900 people are diagnosed with this type of tumor each year. Because the tumor wrapped around Briana's mesenteric artery and was attached to her abdominal aorta and vena cava, Dr. Dupree obtained assistance from his colleague George Constantinopoulos, M.D., a vascular surgeon, to help dissect the tumor off vital blood vessels. The final step was to perform a partial duodenum resection and the tumor was freed.
"Surgery was an overwhelming success. I was in the hospital for 18 days, and Dr. Dupree came in to check on me every single day, whether he was working or not. Everyone at Monmouth – from the nurses to residents to radiologists – was amazing," said Briana.
Dr. Dupree notes that benign tumors can be fatal, depending on their location. "In Briana's case, if the tumor wasn't removed, it could have been life threatening."
After being released from the hospital, Briana had a follow-up appointment with oncologist, Susan Greenberg, M.D. Since benign tumors are associated with other cancers, Briana will continue to be monitored very closely over the next few years, for surveillance of this rare tumor.
In the meantime, Briana continues to credit her good health to Dr. Dupree.
"Dr. Dupree is my superhero. He saved the day – identified the problem and had a game plan," said Briana. "He was a constant presence and made sure I was in a good place emotionally so I could heal and get home to my family."
For a referral to a Monmouth Medical Center surgeon, call 888-724-7123.
About Monmouth Medical Center
Located in Long Branch, N.J., Monmouth Medical Center, a Barnabas Health facility, along with The Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, is one of New Jersey's largest academic medical centers and has been a teaching affiliate of Philadelphia's Drexel University College of Medicine for more than 40 years. From its earliest days, Monmouth Medical Center has been a leader in surgical advancement and has introduced many technological firsts to the region, including robotic surgery and other minimally invasive techniques. The hospital is routinely recognized by HealthGrades, the nation's largest premier independent health care quality company, for excellence in both emergency medicine and maternity care. U.S. News & World Reporthas recognized Monmouth as a regional leader in cancer, geriatrics, gynecology, neurology and neurosurgery. For more information on Monmouth Medical Center, visit www.barnabashealth.org.