Can we sue the doctor accidentally cut my wife's uterer during a laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy procedure? 7 Answers as of November 11, 2013

Nov. 1, 2013 my wife went in for a laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy. The left ovary was to be left in but after 20-30 minutes into procedure I was notified that it had to be removed. No problem with that, but after the procedure was done the doctor came out and showed pictures of the left ovary but not the right one. Then I was informed that the right ureter was damaged during the operation and that they did not have a stent to place in it, so my wife was going to be transferred to another hospital so a urologist could fix it. The doctor said there was a lot of scar tissue "Endometriosis" and she had a difficult time freeing the right ovary. After arriving at the other hospital the urologist discovered that the right ureter was cut and cauterized with about a centimeter of tube missing. He had to lift the bladder on the right side up to a gourd shape so the tube from the bladder could meet up with the tube from the kidney. (The ends of tubes had to be cut so fresh ends could be attached.) Then a stint was placed inside of the tube along with a "Suprapubic Catheter" being installed and will be there for two weeks. The urologist believes all will be fine, but anatomy had to be changed to fix the problem. My wife and I are concerned that there may be complications to develop later from all of this because one never really knows what the future will hold. Please note: That my wife had two previous laposcopic surgeries before because of cyst and scar tissue and a LEAP done. So she has had major problems in this area. All this was told to the OBGYN before and she never ran any test such as ultrasounds, scans etc. before she started the surgery. The urologist spoke to me about some surgeons will place a stent inside the ureters before they do hysterectomies so they know where the ureters are to avoid injury. Also she called me about the left ovary and not the problems with the right ovary. If she was having problems with the right side so much why did she not stop the laposcoptic procedure?

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End, Hierseman & Crain, LLC | J. Michael End
Your wife's case can be pursued if the lawyer you hire to look into the case receives a positive review from the gynecologist your lawyer asks to review the case. Unfortunately, injuries to ureters occasionally occur, especially when the area has scar tissue. It can be argued that the gynecologist who performed the hysterectomy should have done as the doctor suggested to you, namely, place a stent in the ureter so that the doctor could know exactly where the ureter was located during the hysterectomy. I don't know, however, whether doing so is the standard of care. Our firm has lost several cases like yours at trial, so these are not easy cases to win.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 11/11/2013
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
In order to prove a medical malpractice case, a claimant must prove a failure to conform to accepted practice, resulting in an injury. A bad result is not enough. Your wife will need to get copies of ALL of her medical records and have a doctor review them; if he/she is willing to testify that the doctor failed to conform to accepted practice, then she has a case. From what you described, this was a complicated situation and it may be that the undesired result was unavoidable, or a necessary risk involved in the procedure. Still, she will have to prove how much worse she is as a result. These cases are difficult, expensive and do not settle out of court.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 11/11/2013
Belushin Law Firm, P.C.
Belushin Law Firm, P.C. | Vel Belushin
It is hard to say other than if the error was medical malpractice then you might have a suit depending on how serious the injury is deemed. Take your information to a medical malpractice attorney for a consultation.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 11/11/2013
Pete Leehey Law Firm, P.C.
Pete Leehey Law Firm, P.C. | Pete Leehey
The question is whether the doctor provided service that was beneath the standard of care for the same type of doctor. To evaluate this type of case, you need to speak with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Iowa
Replied: 11/11/2013
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
Before you can sue you would have to be able to find an equivalent practitioner who testify there was a breach of the standard of care (in Michigan). That the surgery did not go totally as planned is not unusual and it appears there were other complications. Attorneys are not capable of forming such opinions alone.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/11/2013
    Utah Injury Lawyer
    Utah Injury Lawyer | Will Rodgers
    Your wife may have a medical malpractice case. Have your wife contact an injury lawyer for a free consultation to discuss her potential case.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 11/11/2013
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    You will need an expert to say that such a result IS malpractice. In prior cases that I investigated, I was told that such a damage during a hysterectomy performed abdominally was NOT malpractice, due to the close relationship between structures in a woman's abdomen, and the massive adhesions that usually are found there.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/11/2013
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