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Medical Verdicts

Bowel resection necessary after ovarian cyst removal

April 2003 · Vol. 15, No. 4

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

To determine whether an ovarian cyst was cancerous, a 46-year-old woman underwent a laparoscopic salpingo-oophorectomy. Postoperatively, the woman complained of nausea, vomiting, and pain. She ultimately required surgery to have a portion of her bowel resected.

In suing, the patient claimed that during the laparoscopic procedure her small intestine was burned with a cautery instrument, which doctors failed to diagnose. Further, she argued that a computed tomography scan should have been performed when she returned to the hospital’s emergency room. She contended that the physicians’ negligence led to increased infection, which ultimately resulted in the surgical resection.

The physicians argued that the patient was informed of her risks and that proper inspection of her bowel was made at the time of surgery. Further, they contended that the burn on her small intestine, which developed into a 2-mm perforation, would not have been detectable during surgery.

  • The case settled for $378,500.

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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