On behalf of Hastings Law Firm posted in Surgical Errors on Monday, June 16, 2014.

Although surgery is often a life-saving technique that improves the lives and functionality of many patients, it can sometimes also take a disastrous turn. Last year, a surgeon allegedly performed surgery on the wrong body part of a Texas man. The man has since filed a medical malpractice claim against both his urologist and radiologist, claiming gross negligence in their reading and interpretation of CT scans.

The 55-year-old CEO had originally sought care from his urologist due to pain and a growth in his groin area. In order to determine the source of the pain, his urologist ordered an ultrasound alongside multiple CT scans. Those tests revealed a cancerous mass on what they believed to be his left kidney. It was recommended that he have the kidney removed in order to prevent the cancer from spreading.

Only a month after learning of the cancerous mass, the patient underwent surgery, and his left kidney was removed. However, the subsequent pathology report showed that his left kidney had been perfectly healthy. The CT scan had been misread, and the man’s right kidney was actually the cancerous one. The following month he had to undergo surgery once again to remove the mass and a part of his remaining kidney.

With only three-quarters of a remaining kidney, this Texas victim is not yet eligible for a transplant, as he must first be free of cancer for at least five years. Instead of enjoying his grandchildren and retirement as he had previously planned, he is now faced with the likelihood of dialysis and serious future health issues due to his surgery on the wrong body part. His medical malpractice claim is seeking more than $1 million in compensatory damages. If successfully litigated, that financial recourse can help cover all bills related to the erroneous surgery, and may also be helpful in providing for his family due to any lost wages from time missed at work.

Source: Star-Telegram, “Arlington family files malpractice suit after wrong kidney removed”, Elizabeth Campbell, June 12, 2014