Legal: Uterine perforation during endometrial ablation

Uterine perforation during endometrial ablation

A Minnesota woman underwent endometrial ablation performed by her gynecologist. Ten days after surgery the woman was taken back to the hospital with severe abdominal pain. She was diagnosed with peritonitis, and during abdominal surgery multiple uterine and bowel perforations were found. While some of the perforations were repaired, it was necessary to remove 32 cm of small bowel. Two weeks later, the patient returned with abdominal pain and was hospitalized for peritonitis.

The woman sued the gynecologist, claiming that during the procedure and prior to activating the heating element, the doctor failed to recognize the uterine perforation and burned her intestine and colon. The case went to mediation, and a $245,000 settlement was reached.

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