Docs: Patient's injury an unavoidable result of hysterectomy
|Surgical Error, Medical Malpractice - Foreign Object, Medical Malpractice - Failure to Detect, Medical Malpractice - Gynecological Surgery, Medical Malpractice - OB-GYN|
|Leela Capaccione and John Capaccione v. Veerendra Durgam M.D., Radha Syed M.D., Chia-Ling Nhan-Change M.D., Richmond OB-GYN Associates and State Island University Hospital, No. 101094/09|
|Richmond Supreme, NY|
|Anthony I. Giacobbe
- April L. Strang-Kutay; Goldberg Katzman, P.C., Lancaster, PA, of counsel, Angiuli & Gentile, LLP, Staten Island, NY; null, null, for Leela Capaccione, John Capaccione
- Joseph Finkelstein M.D.; OB-GYN; New York, NY called by: April Strang-Kutay
- Daryl Fanney M.D.; Diagnostic Radiology; Virginia Beach, VA called by: April Strang-Kutay
- Ralph Duncan M.D.; Urology; York, PA called by: April Strang-Kutay
- John T. Evans; Belair & Evans LLP; New York, NY, for Radha Syed
- Thomas J. Gerspach; Gerspach Sikoscow LLP; New York, NY, for Veerendra Durgam
- None reported; null, null, for Chia-Ling Nhan-Chang, Staten Island University Hospital
- Craig Sherman M.D.; Radiology; New York, NY called by: Thomas Gerspach
- Neeraj Kohli M.D.; Urogynecology; Wellesley, MA called by: John Evans
- Vincent D'Amico M.D.; OB-GYN; White Plains, NY called by: Thomas Gerspach
- Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Co. for Durgam
- Applied Medico-Legal Solutions Risk Retention Group Inc. for Richmond OB-GYN Associates and Syed
On Dec. 4, 2006, plaintiff Leela Capaccione, 50, a certified nursing assistant, underwent laparoscopic surgery: a supracervical hysterectomy, which is a hysterectomy that does not include the removal of the patient's cervix. The procedure was performed by two gynecologists, Drs. Veerendra Durgam and Radha Syed, at Staten Island University Hospital, in Richmond County. Durgam and Syed were assisted by a resident, Dr. Chia-Ling Nhan-Chang.
After eight months had passed, Capaccione lost most of the functionality of her right kidney. A test revealed severe atrophy of the kidney. The atrophy was caused by a complete obstruction of Capaccione's right ureter. Capaccione claimed that the obstruction was a result of a clip that was applied during the hysterectomy.
Capaccione sued Durgam; Nhan-Chang; Syed; Syed's practice, Richmond OB-GYN Associates; and Staten Island University Hospital. Capaccione alleged that Durgam, Nhan-Chang and Syed failed to properly perform the hysterectomy; that the doctors' failures constituted malpractice; that Richmond OB-GYN Associates was vicariously liable for Syed's actions; and that Staten Island University Hospital was vicariously liable for Nhan-Chang's actions.
Capaccione's counsel ultimately discontinued the claims against Nhan-Chang and Staten Island University Hospital. The matter proceeded to a trial against the remaining defendants.
Capaccione's counsel noted that the surgery was complicated by Capaccione's loss of more than 850 cubic centimeters of blood, and she further noted that the problem was addressed via the doctors' applications of clips. Capaccione's expert radiologist reviewed the results of CT scans that were performed after the surgery, and he opined that the images suggested that a clip had been applied to Capaccione's right ureter. Capaccione's expert gynecologist and expert urologist opined that Capaccione's postsurgical symptoms supported the radiologist's opinion, and they agreed that the clip was not removed after the surgery had been completed. Capaccione's counsel contended that the ureter should have been inspected before the surgery was concluded.
Durgam and Syed acknowledged that clips were applied during the surgery, but they contended that a clip was not applied to Capaccione's right ureter. The defense's expert radiologist acknowledged that CT scans revealed the presence of a clip, but he claimed that the clip was not positioned on the ureter. The defense's expert obstetrician and expert radiologist opined that the ureter's obstruction was caused by scarry tissue that formed during the aftermath of the surgery, and they contended that the tissue's development could not have been prevented.
On Dec. 4, 2006, Capaccione underwent a supracervical hysterectomy. After several weeks had passed, she developed increasing pain that stemmed from her abdomen. The symptoms quickly waned.
After eight months had passed, Capaccione learned that she had lost most of her right kidney's functionality. She claimed that the loss was a result of atrophy that was caused by a complete obstruction of her right ureter. A surgeon attempted to insert a stent that was intended to restore the functionality of Capaccione's right ureter, but the procedure was not successful. A doctor estimated that Capaccione's left kidney performs 93 percent of Capaccione's renal functions.
Capaccione's experts agreed that Capaccione may have to undergo removal of her right kidney, and they noted that dialysis would be necessitated by a significant impairment of her left kidney. They also contended that her right kidney's impairment increased her likelihood of experiencing infections, a stroke and/or a myocardial infarction.
Capaccione sought recovery of a total of $400,000 for past and future pain and suffering. Her husband initially presented a derivative claim, but he ultimately discontinued his claim.
The jury rendered a defense verdict.
This report is based on information that was provided by counsel of Durgam, Richmond OB-GYN Associates and Syed. The remaining defendants' counsel was not asked to contribute, and plaintiffs' counsel did not respond to the reporter's phone calls.