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Defendant Contends Abdominal Surgery Resulted in Medical Malpractice Action


Medical malpracticecan alter a person’s life. In some cases, the damage that is done is so severe that it renders the person’s quality of life unbearable. In one such case, a woman sought medical care because she was experiencing severe abdominal pain. The pain was so severe that it drove her to seek immediate correction of the problem. That put her at North Shore University Hospital at forest Hills in August of 1999. She was diagnosed with an 8 cm sized cyst on one ovary. Her initial hospitalization for removal of the cyst was on the 19th. She remained in the hospital following the removal of the cyst until the 23rd. On the 25th, she was seen by her doctor in his office. At that time, the doctor readmitted her into the hospital. She was suffering from constipation and abdominal pain. She underwent a CAT scan which revealed that she had a pocket of fluid built up in her pelvic cavity. It was drained, and discovered to be urine. At that point, the doctor called in a Urologist to see her. The Urologist put in a catheter from her left kidney to the outside of her body because there was an obstruction located in the left ureter. The woman was discharged again from the hospital on September 4, 1999.

A New York Injury Lawyer said the woman continued to suffer from abdominal pain and decided to go to a different urologist. This time, she went to Queens-Long Island Medical Group, where she was seen by a different doctor on November 17, 1999. The doctor cleaned out the catheter and her pain subsided. He told her that she needed to have exploratory surgery done in order to determine what was causing the blockage of the left ureter and to repair it. He told her that she could wait to have the procedure done until after the holidays if she desired.

In early January, the woman had to go to the emergency room where she was readmitted again. This time she had an infection at the site of the catheterization. She was given antibiotics and on January 10, of 2000, she had the exploratory surgery that the urologist had recommended. During this procedure, the surgeon discovered that there was fibrotic tissue surrounding her left ureter. He performed a procedure to reroute the urine around the obstruction and into the bladder. The woman was in the intensive care unit until January 14, 2000. The woman was not released from the hospital following this procedure until January 22, 2000.

At the end of January, the woman returned to the urologist for a post-operative visit. At that time, the doctor ordered a renal scan that was scheduled for February 7, 2000. That test showed that the woman was experiencing right renal function impairment. On February 9, 2000, she was back in the hospital so that the urologist could determine what was wrong with the right ureter. The doctors informed her that this time, her right ureter was obstructed, and that the doctors thought that it was from fibrotic material and granulation of the tissues. A catheter was inserted to bypass the right side occlusion and the woman was released from the hospital again.

On May 12, 2000, the woman was admitted to the hospital again, and this time the urologist performed an exploratory surgery on the right ureter. He discovered that the right ureter was obstructed and he resected it. The woman was discharged on May 15, 2000. On the 22cnd, she reported to the surgeon’s office to have the staples removed from the surgical incision. He x-rayed the area and told her to return in one month to have the stent that had been placed during the surgery, removed. On July 13th the stent was removed and the woman was given a renal scan.

Thereafter, the woman filed a medical malpractice suit against the first doctor. She contends that during the first procedure that was performed in the summer of 1999, the surgeon accidently severed her left ureter. A Bronx Personal Injury Lawyer said this caused urine to fill her abdominal cavity and resulted in the following year of surgeries and painful treatments. In order to prove a medical malpractice case, the victim must show that the doctor involved deviated from standard medical treatments. In this case, the doctor stated that he did not deviate from good and accepted standards of medical treatment when he treated the woman.

The doctor stated that prior to her surgery, she was advised that there were known complications that could result from this type of surgery. He stated that one of the known complications was damage to the ureters and problems with renal function. He maintains that he did not accidentally sever the left ureter. He states that he located and protected it while he conducted the rest of the surgery. A Brooklyn Personal Injury Lawyer said that he stated that she was advised of this known risk to surgery and that he did not deviate from acceptable medical practices.

The woman maintains that there was never any blockage of the left ureter. She claims that it was accidentally cut during the first surgery. She claims that the urine in her abdominal cavity caused the fibrotic tissue to develop. That fibrotic tissue then damaged her right ureter. She contends that failure to properly isolate and protect the left ureter during the initial surgical procedure was the ultimate cause of the remaining difficulties. Both sides brought in numerous experts to expound upon these theories. The woman had included not just the first surgeon in her lawsuit, but also the hospital and the urologist that she was sent to by the first surgeon. During the course of the lawsuit, the hospital and the urologist filed motions requesting that summary judgment be granted in their favor to release them from any liability associated with the actions of the first doctor.

The court determined that the hospital and the urologist could not be held liable for the actions of the first doctor. Their requests for summary judgment in this case were granted and their cases were severed from that of the first doctor. The court, however, determined that the first doctor may have severed the ureter during the surgery. Because this question presents a triable issue of fact, the remaining case against the first doctor is sent forward for trial. The woman maintained that the doctor should have at the very least, identified his error and corrected it prior to releasing her from the hospital and the court agreed.

It is possible that had the first doctor tested the intactness of the left ureter prior to releasing the woman from the hospital, that the remaining damage would not have occurred. Medical malpractice situations are without question life changing. This woman’s case is an example of how one minor slip in a surgical procedure can have life changing consequences.

In New York, the complainant of a medical malpractice lawsuit is responsible for providing evidence to support their claim. The burden of proof in a medical malpractice claim is the responsibility of the complainant. Stephen Bilkis & Associates, New York medical malpractice attorneys can help you determine what you need to do to clarify your claims. We are located in convenient offices throughout New York and the Metropolitan area. A New York medical malpractice lawyer can review your case and determine if a lawsuit is possible.

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