Endometriosis Surgery Malpractice Lawsuit

Reeves v. Center for Pelvic Pain at Annapolis

Laparoscopic Bowel ResectionThis surgical malpractice claim was filed in Anne Arundel County after a woman suffering from endometriosis underwent a negligent pain management surgery that resulted in permanent incontinence. It was filed in Health Claims Arbitration on January 30, 2018, and it is the 55th medical malpractice case filed in Maryland this year.

Summary of Plaintiff's Allegations

A woman consulted with her doctor about the pelvic pain she experienced as a result of endometriosis. The doctor recommended that she undergo a laparoscopic surgery to treat the endometriosis. He reassured the woman that the laparoscopic surgery would be safe without disclosing any of the risks or complications associated with the procedure.

The woman underwent the laparoscopic procedure, which included a bowel resection, removal of the right ovary, partial removal of the vagina, and an endoscopic examination of the urinary bladder with stent insertion. Unfortunately, the doctor negligently removed nerve tissue during the procedure. As a result, the woman suffered permanent incontinence and underwent an additional surgery in an attempt to correct her urinary retention problem.

Additional Comments
  • Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. The uterine lining (or endometrial tissue) is the part of the uterus that breaks down and bleeds each menstrual cycle. The endometrial tissue that grows outside the uterus acts just like the endometrial tissue growing inside the uterus, but it has no way to exit the body during menstruation. Instead, it becomes trapped and can cause severe pain, fertility problems, cysts, scar tissue, or other medical complications.

  • The recurrence rate of endometriosis following surgery is 21.5% at two years after surgery and 40-50% five years after surgery. Administration of a gonadotropin releasing hormone, GnRH, agonist is usually effective in 70-90% of patients

  • There is no cure for endometriosis, but there are several ways to manage the painful symptoms. Doctors usually start by recommending pain medications or hormone therapy, which may slow endometrial tissue growth. Treating endometriosis with surgery is controversial because it isn't a permanent fix and it can cause serious health risks. Removing the ovaries (oophorectomy) and the uterus (hysterectomy) might relieve pain at first, but the pain returns for up to 15% of women who undergo the surgery.

  • The statement for this claim does not include many details about the surgery, but it seems as though the doctor attempted to treat the woman's endometriosis by removing her overgrown endometrial tissue and scar tissue. Bowel resections are only performed on patients with deep pelvic endometriosis.

  • The defendant doctor in this case is no stranger to litigation. He has been an expert and a defendant in previous lawsuits.

Jurisdiction
  • Anne Arundel County
Defendants
  • Center for Pelvic Pain at Annapolis
  • An OB/GYN and Pain Management Doctor in Towson and Annapolis
Hospitals Where Patient was Treated
  • Washington Surgical Specialists
Negligence
  • Failing to perform proper examinations and evaluations.
  • Failing to timely diagnose and treat the claimant's medical conditions
  • Failing to perform necessary and proper surgical procedures to prevent the claimant's permanent injury.
Specific Counts Pled
  • As a direct result of the defendants' negligence, the claimant suffered a permanent loss of urinary function, along with severe emotional distress and economic loss.

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