Legal: Failure to remove fibroid

January 1, 2009

A woman underwent surgery for myomectomy, but surgeon could not detect a fibroid and did not open uterus.

A New York woman underwent surgery in 2004. The operation was intended to be a myomectomy, but the surgeon could not detect a fibroid and determined that the patient's bleeding and pain were due to adenomyosis. He wanted to preserve the patient's fertility and did not open the uterus. The operation was ended and an MRI scan was ordered, which found that the patient did have a large, degenerating uterine fibroid. The patient decided that she did not want to undergo removal of the fibroid. In 2007, she did undergoa hysterectomy for the fibroid, at the age of 31.

The woman then sued the gynecologist and alleged negligence in failing to diagnose and treat the fibroid. She claimed that an MRI scan should have been performed before the first surgery, which would have conclusively revealed the fibroid and would have allowed for proper performance of the original surgery. She also claimed that an intraoperative biopsy would have revealed the presence of the fibroid.

The physician claimed that fibroids do not necessarily require surgical intervention and that adenomyosis was a reasonable diagnosis. He also claimed that the patient's outcome would not have been improved by conclusive presurgical detection of the fibroid. A defense verdict was returned.