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Large scar after multiple procedures

Medical judgements and settlements


 

Large scar after multiple procedures

A woman with a history of 3 cesarean deliveries, a tubal ligation reversal, and an abdominoplasty discussed treatment for a large uterine fibroid with her ObGyn. She wanted to avoid a large scar. The ObGyn informed the patient that a laparoscopic hysterectomy could not be promised until her pelvic area was inspected to see if minimally invasive surgery safely could be performed.

During surgery, the ObGyn discovered that pelvic adhesions had distorted the patient’s anatomy; he converted to laparotomy, which left a larger scar.

Two days after surgery, the patient was found to have a bowel injury and underwent additional surgery that included placement of surgical mesh, leaving an enlarged scar.

PATIENT'S CLAIM:

The ObGyn was negligent in injuring the patient’s bowel during hysterectomy and not detecting the injury intraoperatively. Her scars were larger because of the additional repair operation.

PHYSICIAN'S DEFENSE:

Bowel injury is a known complication of the procedure. Many bowel injuries are not detected intraoperatively. The ObGyn made every effort to prevent and check for injury during the procedure.

VERDICT:

An Illinois defense verdict was returned.

Uterus and bowel injured during D&C: $1.5M verdict

A 56-year-old woman underwent hysteroscopy and dilation and curettage (D&C). During the procedure, the gynecologist recognized that he had perforated the uterus and injured the bowel and called in a general surgeon to resect 5 cm of the bowel and repair the uterus.

PATIENT'S CLAIM:

The patient has a large abdominal scar and a chronically distended abdomen. She experienced a year of daily pain and suffering. The D&C was unnecessary and improperly performed: the standard of care is for the gynecologist to operate in a gentle manner; that did not occur.

PHYSICIAN'S DEFENSE:

The D&C was medically necessary. The gynecologist exercised the proper standard of care.

VERDICT:

A $1.5 million New Jersey verdict was returned. The jury found the D&C necessary, but determined that the gynecologist deviated from the accepted standard of care in his performance of the procedure.

Injured ureter allegedly not treated

On December 6, a 42-year-old woman underwent hysterectomy. Postoperatively, she reported increasing dysuria with pain and fever.

On December 13, a computed tomography (CT) scan suggested a partial ureter obstruction. Despite test results, the gynecologist elected to continue to monitor the patient.

The patient’s symptoms continued to worsen and, on December 27, she underwent a second CT scan that identified an obstructed ureter. The gynecologist referred the patient to a urologist, who determined that the patient had sustained a significant ureter injury that required placement of a nephrostomy tube.

PATIENT'S CLAIM:

The gynecologist failed to identify the injury during surgery. The gynecologist was negligent in not consulting a urologist after results of the first CT scan.

PHYSICIAN'S DEFENSE:

Uterine injury is a known complication of the procedure. The gynecologist inspected adjacent organs during surgery but did not find an injury. Postoperative treatment was appropriate.

VERDICT:

The case was presented before a medical review board that concluded that there was no error after the first injury, there was no duty to trace the ureter, and a urology consult was not required after the first CT scan. A Louisiana defense verdict was returned.

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