Medical Verdicts

Hysterectomy leads to perforated colon


Franklin County (Mo) Circuit Court

A woman presented to her Ob/Gyn with excessive uterine bleeding. The doctor recommended a laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy. Some 3 to 15 days postoperatively, the woman experienced fever and abdominal pain.

In the same month, the patient underwent a procedure to remove an infected pelvic hematoma that allegedly occurred during the first procedure. Three days after this surgery, the woman was hospitalized with a high fever and abdominal pain. A subsequent procedure revealed a sigmoid colon perforation. Despite 3 additional surgeries to correct the perforation, the woman still complains of chronic abdominal and pelvic pain.

In suing, the woman claimed the that surgeon for the first 2 procedures negligently inserted contrast material into her colon that spilled into her abdominal pelvic region, causing permanent pain.

The doctor argued that the colon damage was a result of adhesions in her colon or from placement of the first instrument in the first procedure. He also claimed that the patient delayed having a pelvic scan via computed tomography.

  • The jury awarded the plaintiff $1.35 million.
The cases presented here were compiled by Lewis L. Laska, editor of Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts. While there are instances when the available information is incomplete, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.

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