Failure to follow up on kidney mass
A 68-year-old Illinois man underwent a computed tomography scan that revealed a mass on his kidney. It was just short of 1 year later when stage IV renal cancer was diagnosed, and the man died 7 months later.
A lawsuit was filed against the radiologist and the hospital and claimed that while the radiologist reported the mass, he failed to follow up or communicate the need for further evaluation. The hospital settled for $1.5 million.
Pelvic organ prolapse surgery blamed for incontinence
A 52-year-old Virginia woman went to a gynecologist in 2009 for a second opinion regarding a diagnosis of Stage II anterior pelvic organ prolapse, high transverse fascial defect, stress urinary incontinence, and distal rectocele. The gynecologist performed a robotic supracervical hysterectomy/colposacropexy with tension-free transvaginal tape and perineal repair.
The patient required a catheter to void while in the hospital and was still unable to void 5 days after discharge. She was diagnosed with persistent urinary retention during a postoperative visit to her physician. A mid-urethral sling procedure was performed a few days later, but she continued to have voiding problems. The gynecologist suspected a neurogenic component to the problem and referred her to a neurourology specialist who was a member of the doctor’s medical group. Continued intermittent catheterization was recommended by the neurourology specialist.
The patient continued having voiding problems and developed symptoms of a urinary tract infection. She then went to her original gynecologist, who performed a sling revision, cystoscopy, and removed all of the mesh he could find. She underwent additional treatment and had improvement in her voiding.
The patient sued the gynecologist who performed the robotic operation and alleged negligence in failing to offer further surgery to improve her postoperative condition. The woman also claimed that the gynecologist should have referred her to a physician outside of her medical group.
The gynecologist denied any negligence and argued that further dissection in the presence of a neurogenic bladder carried a high risk of incontinence. She also claimed that the patient was told of the risk of urinary retention prior to the procedures performed and that she had signed an informed consent prior to the surgery. A defense verdict was returned.
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