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Medical Verdicts


Incontinence follows hysterectomy

January 2006 · Vol. 18, No. 1

<court>Unknown Massachusetts venue</court>

A 33-year-old woman with a history of heavy menstrual bleeding underwent a total abdominal hysterectomy. She was discharged a week after the surgery despite continuing complaints of lower abdominal pain. An intravenous pyelogram after readmission revealed ureter injury.

After several unsuccessful attempts to place a stent to repair the injured ureter, a nephrostomy tube was inserted in the women’s kidney for urine drainage and she was transferred to another hospital.

During repair surgery, the ureter was found to be encased in suture material, necessitating ureteral reimplantation. Several years after recovery from this surgery, the woman had urinary incontinence that she blamed on the reimplantation.

In suing, the woman claimed her physician was negligent in suturing her ureter during the hysterectomy.

The physician contended that ureter injury is a known risk of hysterectomy and that the current incontinence was unrelated to the ureter reimplantation.

  • The case settled for $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). The available information about the cases presented here is sometimes incomplete; thus, pertinent details of a given situation may be unavailable. Moreover, the cases may or may not have merit. Nevertheless, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation and are meant to illustrate nationwide variation in jury verdicts and awards.

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