Medical Verdicts

Bladder fistula follows hysterectomy


Henderson County (Ky) Circuit Court

During a laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy on a 32-year-old woman, the surgeon found extensive varicosities on the bladder flap. Bleeding was stopped by cauterization.

Three weeks later, the woman complained of leaking urine from her bladder. A small hole in her bladder had developed into a fistula.

In suing, the woman claimed the bladder was damaged during the cauterization and that the surgeon should have converted the operation to an open laparotomy to properly handle the vascular problems.

The defense contended cauterization was not near the bladder, and that fistulas can occur during hysterectomies without negligence.

  • The jury returned a defense verdict.
The cases in this column are selected by the editors of OBG Management from Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts, with permission of the editor, Lewis Laska, of Nashville, Tenn ( The available information about the cases presented here is sometimes incomplete; thus, pertinent details of a given situation may be unavailable. Moreover, the cases may or may not have merit. Nevertheless, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation and are meant to illustrate nationwide variation in jury verdicts and awards.

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