On June 10, 2014, a Texas couple filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a urologist, a radiologist, and others, alleging that surgeons removed the husband’s healthy left kidney instead of removing his cancerous right kidney. As a result of the wrong kidney removal, the 55-year-old patient had to have a portion of his cancerous right kidney removed, resulting in only partial kidney function; he may have to undergo kidney dialysis, take expensive medications, or undergo a kidney transplant in the future (however, he must be cancer-free for five years before a kidney transplant will be considered, and there is no guarantee that a kidney transplant would be successful).
The plaintiffs allege that the wrong kidney surgery was due to a CT scan that was misread, leading to the devastating error. The Texas medical malpractice defendants are alleged to have committed medical malpractice and to have been grossly negligent in surgically removing the wrong kidney.
The plaintiffs allege that the man went to the urologist, complaining of pain near his scrotum and a growth near his right testicle. The urologist ordered a CT scan and ultrasound of the man’s pelvic area and abdomen that included both kidneys. A mass on the man’s left kidney was noted and the results sent to and discussed with the urologist. During the man’s appointment with the urologist five days later, he was told that the lump was at high-risk for being cancerous and surgery to remove the left kidney was recommended.
One month later, in February 2013, surgery to remove the left kidney was performed but a subsequent pathology analysis and report found that the removed kidney was healthy. The urologist advised his patient that the wrong kidney had been removed and that his remaining, right kidney was cancerous. The man sought a second opinion and subsequently had robotic surgery in March 2013 to remove a portion of his right cancerous kidney; no cancer was found near his scrotum.
After the couple filed their medical malpractice lawsuit, the man stated, “There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think about this … I’m getting to the point where I should be enjoying life and thinking about retirement and not thinking about a transplant. It’s pretty emotional … When this lawsuit is all over, I will still only have three quarters of a kidney left.”
It is hard to imagine a more egregious surgical medical malpractice claim than one involving the wrongful removal of a healthy organ while leaving behind a diseased organ.
If you or a family member had a wrong organ removed, wrong site surgery, or negligently performed surgery, you should promptly seek the legal advice of a local medical malpractice attorney in your U.S. state who may investigate your negligent surgery claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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