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Legal: Bladder and urethra injured during surgery

A woman undergoes a tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) procedure for stress urinary incontinence and inadvertently the bladder and urethra is injured.

A COLORADO WOMAN UNDERWENT a tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) procedure in 2004 for stress urinary incontinence. After the surgery, she developed urinary retention, for which her gynecologist performed a TVT "take-down" procedure. During this procedure, he inadvertently injured the bladder and urethra.

The patient became more incontinent and transferred care to a urologist, who subsequently placed a transvaginal sling, which improved the incontinence. The woman eventually underwent a total abdominal hysterectomy and surgery for a prolapse that was invading her bladder, after which she became severely incontinent. A revision of the transvaginal sling repair was performed, but she allegedly remained incontinent.

The woman sued the gynecologist, charging negligence in performing the procedures and in injuring the bladder and urethra. She also claimed she developed disabling chronic pelvic pain due to the procedures.

Department editor DAWN COLLINS, JD, is an attorney specializing in medical malpractice in Long Beach, CA. She welcomes feedback on this column via e-mail to dawncfree@gmail.com