A Michigan neonate was circumcised by the obstetrician the day after he was born and the procedure was described as “routine.” The infant’s mother first told the obstetrician of a problem when the child was 18 months old, claiming that the child’s first words were “mommy penis hurts.” He underwent a revision surgery at age 2½ years to remove the redundant foreskin left from the first circumcision.
A lawsuit was filed and claimed that the child was in pain every day until the revision procedure because of the redundant skin that was not removed during the original circumcision.
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The obstetrician argued that the initial circumcision was routine, and that redundant foreskin can be left behind even with a properly performed circumcision. A defense verdict was returned.
Ureter damaged during hysterectomy
An Illinois woman underwent a total abdominal hysterectomy in 2009. The woman sued the gynecologist involved and alleged that she damaged the left ureter during the operation. A urologist subsequently attempted two unsuccessful stent insertions in the damaged ureter followed by ureteral re-implantation surgery.
The gynecologist contended the ureter injury is a known complication that can occur in the absence of negligence. The jury returned a defense verdict.
LEGAL PERSPECTIVE: In malpractice cases where a known complication is alleged to have been the result of negligence on the part of the caregiver(s), the usual issues at trial are the recognition and appropriate management of the complication. If the injury is recognized in a timely manner and the standard of care is met in treating the complication, including involving other physicians—as in this case a urologist—these cases can be successfully defended.