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Medical Verdicts

Was bladder laceration avoidable?

June 2003 · Vol. 15, No. 6
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<court>Clark County (Nev) District Court</court>

During a vaginal hysterectomy, a 46-year-old patient suffered a bladder laceration.

Pulmonary embolism on CT She underwent surgical repair of her bladder and vaginal fistula, which aggravated her urinary incontinence.

In suing, the woman argued that the surgeon failed to properly preoperatively assess her uterus, which was 3 times the normal size and distorted by fibroids. As a result, the surgeon failed to correctly develop the surgical plane, which led to complications during the procedure.

The doctor maintained that bladder injury was a known risk of the procedure. Further, the physician alleged that the bladder injury was actually caused by the technician, who inadvertently pushed a retractor into the patient’s bladder.

  • The court awarded the woman $112,180 in compensatory damages.

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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Vaginal hysterectomy 
with basic instrumentation