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Medical Verdicts

Rectovaginal fistula follows vaginal delivery

December 2002 · Vol. 14, No. 12

<court>Kings County (NY) Supreme Court</court>

A woman underwent an episiotomy during the delivery of her first child. After the procedure, she developed a rectovaginal fistula and complained of stool coming from her vagina. Her condition continued for 5 years until it was surgically repaired. Postoperatively, the woman was incapacitated for 3 months.

In suing, the woman claimed that the physician failed to recognize that he had cut into her rectum during the episiotomy.

The physician contended that the fistula was caused by either a deep hematoma under the sutures or a subclinical infection that developed from suture granuloma.

  • The jury returned a verdict for the defense.

The cases presented here were compiled by Lewis L. Laska, editor of Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts. While there are instances when the available information is incomplete, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.

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