Surgical Mistake Forces Woman to Wear Colostomy Bag for More than Two Months, Doctor Claims Mistake was “Acceptable”
By Jim Lewis, Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Virginia
A Winchester, Virginia (VA) woman went in for a vaginal hysterectomy and had her life turned upside down after a surgical error caused serious personal injuries. She endured months of corrective procedures and was forced to wear a colostomy bag because her doctor made a preventable medical mistake.
The negligent doctor performed a laparoscopically-assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH) which includes the removal of the uterus. After the removal, the doctor stitched vaginal cuff to her rectum. Following the LAVH, the victim suffered post-operative symptoms including nausea, vomiting, tenesemus (i.e. the urge to have a bowel movement), hematochezia (i.e. bloody stool), and fever while admitted at the Winchester Medical Center, according to allbusiness.com.
It turns out the negligent doctor incorporated the rectal wall into the vaginal cuff repair and a line of continuous sutures were holding the vaginal tissue and rectal tissue together.
A corrective surgery was conducted to remove the sutures and repair at least two rectal lacerations. In order to divert the stool from the injured area of the rectum and allow healing to take place, the victim was forced to wear a colostomy bag for more than two months (approximately 75 days).During that time the victim suffered complications associated with the colostomy, including retraction, infection and stenosis (i.e. abnormal narrowing) of the stoma. The colostomy was then reversed. Because two operative incisions were made in the same location of the abdomen, the victim also suffered from two abdominal hernias, which were repaired through the placement of mesh in their abdominal area.
As you can tell, the victim’s life was turned upside down and she had to go through these nightmare procedures that drastically downgraded her quality of life. She decided to pursue a medical malpractice claim and retained a lawyer.
During trial, the negligent doctor called two witnesses who claimed that the doctor committed an “acceptable surgical error.”
Since when is causing a patient to have rectal bleeding and be forced to wear a colostomy bag “acceptable”? A jury did not buy this argument and awarded the victim $3,000,000. This will help cover the $125,000 in medical bills the victim racked up during her multiple surgeries and treatments.
It’s good to hear a jury saw through the at-fault doctor’s weak argument and sided with the victim who was clearly wronged.