Napoles recovering after removal of ‘pre-cancerous’ mass

Bea Cupin
Napoles recovering after removal of ‘pre-cancerous’ mass
The alleged pork scam mastermind will remain at the Ospital ng Makati indefinitely after doctors removed the tumor that was 'not cancerous but is neither benign'

MANILA, Philippines – Alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles will finally be rid of the pain she’s been suffering the past 6 months after undergoing surgery her doctors described as “uneventful.”

In a press briefing on Wednesday, April 23, Napoles’ private doctor Efren Domingo said Napoles was already in the Ospital ng Makati (Hospital of Makati) recovery room. She underwent a two-hour surgery to remove a tumor.

Domingo said Napoles’ uterus as well as both ovaries were also removed during surgery.

The myoma in Napoles’ uterus was “pre-cancerous,” based on an April 8 biopsy, Domingo said. The full diagnosis, he said, was “severe adenomyosis of the uterus with multiple adenomyomatous and endometrial hyperplasia.”

Domingo added that Napoles’ condition was “life threatening,” echoing the opinion of an expert witness who told a Makati court that Napoles’ condition was “urgent” because of the risk of cancer

“While it was not life threatening 6 months ago…there were several episodes that were life threatening,” said Domingo. 

“The result was endometrial hyperplasia and that is a pre-cancerous lesion. It means it is a disease that is not cancerous but is neither benign. It is in transition from benign to malignant,” he added.

No timeline

Domingo, who spoke in behalf of Napoles’ team of personal doctors, said Napoles will stay in the recovery room for 6-12 hours. Dr. Elsie Badillo-Pascua, an ob-gyn from St. Luke’s Medical Center, said it would take at least a week for Napoles to recover barring any complications.

Domingo, however, did not give a definite timeline for Napoles’ hospital stay. “As to the number of days, we would rather wait day by day based on her outcomes as we see her,” he said.

Napoles’ existing medical conditions – hypertension and diabetes – make her recovery a little more tricky, said Domingo. He said Napoles’ team of personal doctors, who took over her care following a court decision, will transfer her care to the Ospital ng Makati “when we feel that the patient has recovered and will go back to her normal lifestyle.”

Medical issues

The Wednesday surgery puts to a temporary close the saga that has been Napoles’ medical woes. After being denied bail by the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150, Napoles, through her lawyers, asked the court to allow to take medical exams in St. Luke’s hospital because of suspected ovarian cancer.

In October 2013, Napoles was rushed to the Southern Luzon Medical Center (SLMC) because of stones in her ureter. Her team said that since then, Napoles was complaining of pain and “profuse menstrual bleeding.” Napoles was granted a one-day pass to take medical tests in the Camp Crame Medical Center.

TRANSFERRED. Members of the Philippine National Police escort Napoles to the Ospital ng Makati. File photo by Rappler

The results of initial tests at the SLMC and Camp Crame were different, prompting Napoles to file another motion before the court, this time for surgery and confinement at St. Luke’s Medical Center.

A tearful Napoles herself pleaded before Judge Elmo Alameda, saying she was “worried” because of the conflicting results. Alameda eventually allowed her confinement, but at the Ospital ng Makati. (READ: Napoles pleads before Makati court: Nahihirapan na ako)

Previously, Napoles was detained at the Fort Sto. Domingo in Laguna over serious illegal detention charges. Napoles also faces plunder charges connected to the pork barrel scam. (READ: Napoles not demanding to be state witness – lawyer)

On Monday, April 21, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima paid a visit to Napoles at the Ospital ng Makati, where the infamous figure expressed her desire to turn state witness. –

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.