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MS COLLINS is an attorney specializing in medical malpractice in Long Beach, California. She welcomes feedback on this column via e-mail. Click on the envelope icon to email.
A 41-year-old Kansas woman claims her gynecologist performed an unnecessary hysterectomy.
A 41-YEAR-OLD KANSAS WOMAN HAD A HISTORY of abnormal uterine bleeding and pelvic pain that had been previously treated with laparoscopy and endometrial ablation. When abnormal bleeding and pain returned, she went to her gynecologist. An ultrasound and other test findings were negative, but the problem continued intermittently over the next 2 years. She ultimately had a hysterectomy in 2003, which included removal of the right ovary. A year later, her left ovary was removed.
In suing the gynecologist, she alleged negligence in performing the hysterectomy, claiming it was unnecessary and that she would not have lost her left ovary if her uterus had not been removed.
The physician argued that when an endometrial abnormality appeared on an ultrasound the patient was offered a number of diagnostic and treatment options, and she chose a hysterectomy. The woman denied this at trial, but the jury returned a defense verdict.