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Medical Verdicts


Diagnostic laparoscopy leads to bowel injury

September 2004 · Vol. 16, No. 9

<court>Kings County (NY) Supreme Court</court>

Due to complaints of crural pain, a 38-year-old woman with a history of uterine fibroids underwent diagnostic laparoscopy; she was discharged that day.

She returned to the hospital via ambulance 2 days later, and was diagnosed with acute peritonitis. It was revealed that she had suffered a bowel perforation during the laparoscopy.

In suing, the woman claimed that her surgical history—3 prior abdominal procedures—contraindicated the laparoscopy.

The defense maintained that the procedure was appropriate given the circumstances, and that bowel perforation is a known complication.

  • The jury returned 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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