Claim of unnecessary hysterectomy

September 28, 2015

An Alabama woman went for an annual pelvic exam and underwent a Pap test. It showed a high-grade squamous intraepithelial neoplasia and the gynecologist could not rule out cancer. The patient then had a colposcopy, which revealed high-grade dysplasia with negative endocervical currettings. Each was identified as a form of pre-cancer.

An Alabama woman went for an annual pelvic exam and underwent a Pap test. It showed a high-grade squamous intraepithelial neoplasia and the gynecologist could not rule out cancer. The patient then had a colposcopy, which revealed high-grade dysplasia with negative endocervical currettings. Each was identified as a form of pre-cancer.

A month after the initial findings the patient underwent a laprascopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy.

The woman sued the gynecologist and claimed she was told that she had cancer and that she made her judgment to have a hysterectomy based on the cancer diagnosis. She alleged that the hysterectomy was an invasive procedure that was not necessary given the negative pathology reports.

The physician contended that the hysterectomy was the best option for the patient due to many other risk factors, including her age and medical history. The defense argued no wrongdoing and stated that the hysterectomy was a necessary and appropriate option for the patient’s continued health.

The verdict: The jury found in favor of the defense.

NEXT: Failure to perform complete anatomical ultrasound

 

Failure to perform complete anatomical ultrasound

A New Jersey woman receiving prenatal care at a university hospital requested an ultrasound. The hospital performed a limited ultrasound and found no abnormalities. Later in the pregnancy, the woman switched healthcare providers. After delivery the infant was diagnosed with a variant of Dandy Walker syndrome, a malformation of the brain that affected the child’s ability to move. The child now requires full-time care.

In the lawsuit that followed, the patient sued the first care provider and asserted that if a complete prenatal anatomical survey had been performed, the malformation would have been discovered and she would have terminated the pregnancy.

The defense asserted that it is hospital policy to perform complete anatomical surveys only on high-risk pregnancies, which hers was not. Furthermore, they claimed, the subsequent ultrasounds performed by the patient’s second healthcare provider did not show an abnormality, so any ultrasound provided by the first provider would not have shown an abnormality either.

The verdict: The case settled for $3.75 million. 

NEXT: Unplanned hysterectomy results in lawsuit

 

Unplanned hysterectomy results in lawsuit

A 48-year-old California woman underwent surgery to remove her rectum due to stage IV cancer. During the operation, the doctors became aware that the woman’s uterus was significantly damaged and could not be moved to access the rectum. As a result, they then performed a hysterectomy.

The patient sued those involved and contended that because the physicians failed to receive consent for the hysterectomy, performing it constituted medical battery. The patient’s counsel argued that the patient should have been brought out of anesthesia to give her consent.

The defense argued that the hysterectomy was necessary and that consent could not be properly obtained due to the surgical needs of the patient at the time.

The verdict: The jury rendered a defense verdict.