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Spangenberg Shibley & Liber | Feb 15, 2015

Surgeon Held Accountable For Bladder Injury During Hysterectomy

Categories: News

Spangenberg, Shibley and Liber successfully pursued a medical malpractice claim arising from damage done to her client's bladder during an open hysterectomy. Briefly, the patient was a fifty-four year old woman who suffered from painful and prolonged periods (sometimes called menorrhagia.) When medications failed to control the patient's symptoms, her gynecologist recommended a hysterectomy.


During an open hysterectomy, the surgeon opens the abdomen with an incision. At the time of this initial incision, the surgeon sometimes cannot see the underlying organs. This type of incision is often referred to as a "blind" incision. During a truly "blind" incision, injury to the internal organs may occur without any negligence on the surgeon's part.

As a result, injury to the bladder is included as one of the potential recognized complications of a hysterectomy. In addition to potential injury during the procedure, a significant percentage of women will unavoidably suffer bladder incontinence after a hysterectomy when some of the bladder's supporting structures are removed.

Notwithstanding these recognized complications of hysterectomy surgery, Attorney Debevec was able to prove that the bladder was injured when it was stapled to the vaginal wall - and not during the initial "blind" incision. Because the staples pierced the bladder, urine leaked into the patient's abdominal cavity causing a severe and life-threatening infection. Major reconstructive surgery was required to repair the bladder's integrity. Through perseverance, the patient largely recovered but subsequently developed bladder incontinence unrelated to the surgical mistake.

A lawsuit was filed against the surgeon to recover for the damages caused by the surgeon's negligence. Predictably, the defense attempted to argue that the patient's injury was a recognized complication of the procedure and thus unavoidable. By reviewing the pertinent medical literature and obtaining key concessions during the surgeon's depositions, Ms. Debevec was able to effectively defeat this argument and achieve a substantial six-figure confidential settlement on behalf of her client.


If you or your loved one has suffered a serious bladder complication requiring subsequent surgery Contact us for Free Consultation or Call 1-888-633-0360