Bowel perforation during fibroid surgery
A 44-year-old Illinois woman presented to a gynecologist in 2010 with a complaint of uterine fibroids. During a hysteroscopic procedure, the uterine wall and colon were inadvertently perforated. The gynecologist converted to a laproscopy and upon finding the perforation in the uterine wall, performed a laparotomy to repair the tear. When the patient became severely ill with peritonitis 3 days later, a surgeon performed a bowel resection with colostomy. A second operation to reverse the colostomy was performed a year later.
The woman sued the gynecologist, alleging negligence in perforating the uterus and bowel and failing to recognize and repair the bowel perforation in a timely manner, which caused her to have abdominal scarring.
The physician argued that he did look at the adjacent organs while repairing the uterus and either there was no hole at that time or it was too small for him to detect any perforation.