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Medical Verdicts


Labioplasty performed instead of authorized episiotomy scar revision

September 2003 · Vol. 15, No. 9

<court>Maricopa County (Ariz) Superior Court</court>

During a routine checkup, a 44-year-old woman asked her Ob/Gyn if her labia appeared at all abnormal. She told the physician that a former boyfriend had said her labia had too much laxity for him to enjoy intercourse with her.

The Ob/Gyn recommended an episiotomy scar revision; however, the woman alleged that the doctor instead performed a cosmetic labioplasty.

The patient claimed the physician fell below the standard of care by recommending an unnecessary procedure and then performing an unauthorized procedure. She further contended that the labioplasty was improperly performed, and that as a result she now suffers from abnormal and asymmetrical labia.

The physician admitted performing the wrong procedure, but argued that the patient’s labia remained within the norm and that a nonphysician would not be able to tell the difference. The doctor also noted that the patient had not changed her sexual activities, missed any work, or sought counseling; has no functional disabilities; and faces no future medical expenses from the procedure.

  • The jury awarded the plaintiff $750,000.

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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