Ureter sutured during myomectomy
<court>Kings County (NY) Supreme Court</court>
Pelvic examination and sonogram on a 40-year-old woman revealed a uterus 20 weeks in size due to multiple fibroids. The woman underwent myomectomy with uterine reconstruction, fulguration of endometriosis, and resection of a right ovarian cyst.
While attempting to remove an irregular calcified fibroid 15 cm in diameter, the physician perforated the patient’s uterine artery, which he repaired before completing the myomectomy and peritoneal and abdominal closure.
Following surgery, the patient experienced decreased urine output; it was discovered her right ureter had been sutured during the procedure. Multiple surgeries were needed to repair the obstruction. Recovery took 6 months, during 2 of which the woman was required to wear a nephrostomy bag.
The patient claimed that the physician conducted inadequate pre- and perioperative testing. Proper testing, she argued, could have prevented the suture injury—or at least alerted the physician to its presence prior to closure, allowing for timely repair.
The physician argued that it was during peritoneal closure—not the uterine artery repair—that the ureter was sutured, and that the woman’s injury was a known risk of this closure. He maintained appropriate testing was conducted.
- The parties reached a posttrial settlement of $150,000.
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.