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Perforated Colon During Hysterectomy

A perforated colon that occurred during a hysterectomy led to a medical malpractice lawsuit.

A 59-year-old woman had laparoscopic total hysterectomy and salpingectomy surgery (removal of uterus, cervix and fallopian tubes). She had previously had an umbilical hernia repair. This was known Perforated Colon During Hysterectomy - Altizer Law PCby the surgeon.

Initial access to the abdominal area was made by the gynecological surgeon by inserting a Veress needle and trocar through the plaintiff’s umbilicus (navel). This caused a through-and-through perforation to the woman’s (plaintiff’s) transverse colon. The perforation was 3 cm anterior and 1 cm posterior. This injury was not diagnosed during the hysterectomy procedure.

During the ensuing two days, the plaintiff had abdominal pain, chills, distention and discharge with a foul odor from the site of the suture in the navel.  She notified the surgeon’s office of these symptoms on the second day after the procedure. She was told to report to the surgeon’s office. She chose to visit the emergency room instead. A CT scan revealed the bowel perforation.

Plaintiff was immediately admitted and taken to emergency surgery (an exploratory laparotomy with transverse colon resection and right colon colostomy with Hartmann’s pouch). The plaintiff wore an ostomy bag for roughly eight months. She developed an infection due to the colostomy. She also needed additional surgery to resolve a small bowel obstruction and incisional hernias.

This medical malpractice complaint of colon perforation during a hysterectomy claimed that:

  • Given the woman’s prior umbilical hernia repair and the likelihood of adhesive disease, the defendant surgeon should have made initial entry with a “Palmer’s point” entry in her left upper quadrant. The surgeon should have then cleared the area behind her navel of any attached bowel before inserting the Veress needle and trocar through her navel.
  • Further, the surgeon failed to complete adequate inspection of the bowel.
  • Had this inspection been conducted, the perforation would have been observed, diagnosed, and repaired during the procedure.

Plaintiff’s medical expenses had totaled approximately $235,000. Potential remained for future surgery. She did not claim any lost wages.

This medical malpractice case of a perforated colon during hysterectomy was settled out of court for $1,000,000.

If you or a loved one suffers wrongful injury due to the negligence or action of a doctor, surgeon or other medical professional, you may be entitled to recover financial compensation for your hurts and harms. Call Altizer Law, P.C., in Roanoke, VA and come in to discuss your injuries with us. Should you decide to hire us to prepare your case and represent your legal interests, trusted top Roanoke medical malpractice attorney Bettina Altizer and her team will fight for maximum compensation for your injuries.