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    Retained foreign object after gyn surgery


    Bowel injured during laparoscopic tubal ligation

    A 40-year-old Louisiana woman underwent an outpatient laparoscopic tubal cauterization. Two hours after the procedure, her blood pressure began to drop. She was promptly transferred to a hospital and underwent emergency surgery, which revealed an injury to her bowel. Apparently, a trocar had perforated the bowel. The woman lost part of her small intestine and endured other complications.

    She sued the surgeon and alleged she had committed medical error.

    The surgeon contended the bowel injury was a known complication of the procedure. The jury returned a defense verdict.

    Vesicovaginal fistula following hysterectomy

    A 40-year-old Michigan woman underwent a hysterectomy due to painful and prolonged periods. During the procedure, the gynecologist inadvertently placed a stitch in the bladder. Despite the presence of blood in the catheter bag after the procedure, the gynecologist did not consult a urologist. Later, when the patient suffered from urinary retention, a urologist was called, performed a cystoscopy and discovered the stitch in the bladder.

    The patient sued the gynecologist and contended that the presence of blood in the catheter bag required a urology consult and cystoscopy immediately, which would have revealed the stitch and prevented all the subsequent injuries.

    The gynecologist argued that she used reasonable judgment as there were explanations for the blood due to a difficult catheter placement and the lysis of bladder adhesions. She further argued that a urologist would not have performed a cystoscopy or removed the stitch even if called at that point. The jury found in favor of the defense.

    NEXT: Failure to timely treat preeclampsia


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