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Medical Verdicts

Trocar use blamed for bowel perforation

September 2004 · Vol. 16, No. 9
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<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. ( 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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