Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Home / Verdicts & Settlements / Unnecessary abdominal surgery led to additional corrective surgeries – $900,000 Settlement

Unnecessary abdominal surgery led to additional corrective surgeries – $900,000 Settlement

Plaintiff, age 20, had abdominal complaints over the course of five months, which included diffuse pain that improved with eating, black stools, diarrhea and nausea. Plaintiff’s gastrointestinal work-up resulted in negative findings and included an abdominal ultrasound, colonoscopy and stool culture. An esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) revealed a small hiatal hernia but no evidence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). An upper GI series was negative for a hiatal hernia, placing it at odds with the prior EGD finding of a small hernia. The UGI Series did reveal a finding of reflux (as distinct from GERD), but did not reveal inflammatory or mucosal changes consistent with pathologic GERD.

Despite the negative workup, plaintiff underwent an unnecessary Nissen fundoplication procedure, during which his spleen and appendix were also removed. The surgery resulted in severe dysphagia and gastroparesis. The failed fundoplication resulted in a second surgery to take down the Nissen wrap. This second surgery was performed only one month after the original procedure, during a time at which post-surgical inflammatory processes are at their height. In the course of the second surgery, the surgeon failed to take down the Nissen wrap and failed to inform his patient that he had not achieved the intended result. Post-operative imaging and tests indicated the Nissen wrap was intact. Plaintiff experienced continued complaints of severe dysphagia and gastroparesis. In three months following the surgery, he lost approximately 23 percent of his pre-surgery weight. The failed surgeries resulted in a third abdominal repair surgery, after which the plaintiff required a month-long hospitalization and 54 days on a feeding tube. As a result, the plaintiff sustained permanent deformities of his stomach, pylorus and duodenum.

Plaintiff’s experts would have testified that the plaintiff was not a candidate for the Nissen fundoplication surgery. Had proper diagnostic protocol been followed, the surgery would not have occurred. The surgeon’s failure to conduct an appropriate pre-surgical diagnostic work up caused plaintiff to undergo an unnecessary fundoplication surgery which permanently worsened his condition and necessitated two additional surgeries and associated permanent injuries to his digestive tract.



Type of action: Medical malpractice
Injuries alleged: Three unnecessary abdominal surgeries and permanent injuries
Resolved by: Mediation
Mediator: Michael C. Allen
Date resolved: Jan. 30, 2015
Verdict or settlement: Settlement
Amount: $900,000
Attorneys for plaintiff: Lewis T. Stoneburner and Bellamy Stoneburner, Richmond

Leave a Reply