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Medical Verdicts


Trocar use blamed for bowel perforation

September 2004 · Vol. 16, No. 9

<court>Oakland County (Mich) Circuit Court</court>

A 32-year-old woman underwent laparoscopy for the treatment of endometriosis. During the course of surgery, a trocar caused a 5-mm perforation in the woman’s bowel. A general surgeon successfully repaired the injury, leaving a 3- to 4-inch scar on her abdomen.

In suing, the patient claimed that the defendant should have used a Veress needle instead of a trocar to reduce the risk of bowel injury.

The defense maintained either instrument was appropriate, and noted that such injury is a known complication of the procedure.

  • The court directed a defense verdict.

The cases in this column are selected by the editors of OBG Management from Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts, with permission of the editor, Lewis Laska, of Nashville, Tenn. (www.verdictslaska.com) 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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