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Medical Verdicts


Did surgeon remove too much breast tissue?

June 2003 · Vol. 15, No. 6

<court>District of Columbia (DC) Superior Court</court>

When a biopsy revealed cancer, a woman underwent a lumpectomy on 1 breast. Later mammography showed microcalcifications in her other breast. Based on her medical history, the surgeon recommended removal of the microcalcifications, and performed a breast biopsy. During the procedure, he found an additional area of the breast with microcalcifications and removed them.

In suing, the woman argued that she did not give prior consent to remove the additional tissue. She claimed that her breast is now deformed by a severe indentation.

The doctor maintained that the consent form gave him permission to perform additional tissue removal as he saw fit. Further, he claimed that the patient agreed to the removal of excess tissue during the surgery.

  • The jury awarded the plaintiff $1.6 million.

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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