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Re: breast cancer

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  • Jurydoctor@aol.com
    $20 donated to Korman breast cancer center for your opinion. As always, your responses are greatly appreciated. Amy This case involves Phyliss who is suing the
    Message 1 of 9 , Jan 7, 2010
      $20 donated to Korman breast cancer center for your opinion.
      As always, your responses are greatly appreciated.

      This case involves Phyliss who is suing the breast surgeon, radiologist and outpatient surgery center.
      Phyliss is a CPA, divorced. Practices out of her house and does small business accounting.
      She lives alone and has a very limited social life, although she is conscious of her looks. Years ago, she had a facelift.

      Plaintiff was 65 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Non-palpable lesion. The suspicious area vaguely seen on routine mammogram.
      Further studies were called for due to her dense breast tissue.

      Ultrasound done clearly shows area in a different location than the mammogram. Ultrasound guided needle biopsy done. Pathology report comes back as cancer.

      Gynocologist sends her to breast surgeon (Dr. Brettt). Phyliss brings him films from prior studies. His record shows that he reviewed mammogram and noted ultrasound, as well.
      He schedules her for surgery at outpatient surgery center and says that he delivered all films that he had to center several days before surgery.

      Center does not note what films came in. However, tech at the center says that whatever films came in were given to radiologist (Dr. Roger) for purpose of doing localization of the lesion so that Dr. Brett could remove it.

      Dr Roger, the radiologist says that he did not know of prior ultrasound and, if anyone had mentioned it, he would not have been the one doing a localization because he does not do them using ultrasound.
      His wife does. Radiologist says surgeon conferred with him on what to localize. Surgeon says no such discussion.

      So, radiologist localizes a fairly large area above and to outside of nipple.
      When doing that, patient asked why he was doing that area when she was told that area was at 3 oclock area.
      He says because that's where he sees problem.

      Dr Roger llocalizes the wrong area and surgeon then removes much more tissue than should have been taken out. Surgery report reads as if everything went fine.

      When patient comes back a few days later, surgeon gets on the phone with pathologist and tells patient that there was no cancer in what he removed.

      She switches docs and is referred to another surgeon. New radiologist reviews films (same ones as before) and does new ultrasound that shows same area as before is still there. Two months post screw up she has correct surgery with relatively small scar and much less breast tissue removed. Surgery was no big deal.

      Case is not based on worsening of cancer. It is based on significant cosmetic deformity and need for undergoing another surgery and all the fear, concern and trauma that goes along with that.

      It is now 7 years later and cPhyliss hos not gotten her breast defect repaired.

      Three years later (2005) she was operated on the other breast for breast cancer (on outside near armpit- not visible from frontal views). Also, she has had rheumatoid arthritis for years that affects her right hand causing deformity in her fingers.

      Medicare paid minimal amounts for surgery so there is no claim for medical expenses

      Radiologist claims no one told him about ultrasound (which all agree was the best study that showed the problem and which was previously used to do biopsy that showed cancer). Surgeon says he gave all films and faxed reports to outpatient center before surgery. Also, claims that once radiologist marked an area, surgeon had to remove that area. Ultrasound is easier for radiologist and involves no radiation for patient.

      The protocol for this type of thing states that all films must be at the center at least two days before. However, they have no record of just what films they received, or which films they gave back to the patient. The patient obviously got back all her films because she took them to the doctors who did the correct surgery.

      Although there is spot on the record for the outpatient center to record the number of films that were given to the patient after the procedure, the form was left blank.

      Plaintiff contends this case involves the lack of simple communication between well trained docs, some very poor record keeping and some probable additions to records months after. Had they discussed the patient's history for two minutes before acting, she would have undergone a successful and fairly simple (although stressful for any person) surgery and been left with a scar that follows the lower curve of the nipple. Instead, she was left with an obvious deformity with a chunck of missing tissue. Moreover, the injured breast is much smaller and does not point or hang in the same direction as the other one.

      Your thoughts?

      What would you award her (if anything)?

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • suesarkis@aol.com
      Phyllis definitely has a case. I personally believe the damned surgeon screwed up big time. Ultrasound should have been relied upon for surgery. The
      Message 2 of 9 , Jan 7, 2010
        Phyllis definitely has a case. I personally believe the damned surgeon
        screwed up big time. Ultrasound should have been relied upon for surgery.

        The density of the breast makes the ultrasound much more viable than the
        mammogram. Density makes a mammogram more difficult to read because it is
        more difficult to see a small lesion on mammogram or to palpate a definite
        lump on physical exam. The denseness of the tissue thus makes it more likely
        that a cancer might be missed. That is why the surgeon ordered the
        ultrasound. The surgeon, who presumably has more experience with looking at the
        combination of mammograms, physical exams, and ultrasounds is the ultimate
        responsible party usually.

        Just as the ultrasound guided the needle biopsy, so too should it have
        guided the surgeon. If he really and truly delivered them, he should have
        stopped everything in the OR when they weren't present.

        Since the anesthesiologist reportedly does not localize off of ultrasounds,
        common sense should dictate that the surgeon is not being truthful as
        entire surgical teams are very familiar with each doctors' propensities,
        habits, likes and dislikes. Whether they consulted or not prior to surgery is
        truly irrelevant as the surgeon should have been able to determine
        immediately, if not sooner, that the wrong area was exposed.

        However, why the heck didn't she jump and scream when the surgeon entered
        since she believed the wrong area was being attended to?

        The surgeon's argument that he had to operate in the area so marked by the
        radiologist wreaks out loud of bullshit. So let's see, if the radiologist
        mistakingly marked the right breast instead of the left, the surgeon should
        operate on the wrong breast having full knowledge just because the
        radiologist so marked? I don't think so. Nowadays it is the surgeon who comes
        into your room the night before surgery or counsels you prior to surgery, for
        instance, and writes "this arm" on either left or right or similar words
        for other regions to make certain their mark is in the right place.

        Did Phyllis have the ultrasound given back to her which she presented to
        the subsequent doctors? Not relevant but just curious.

        Now, for damages. For starters I doubt that the breasts hanging in
        different directions can be attributed to this surgery since the other breast was
        subsequently operated on elsewhere. Whether visible or not from frontal
        views, the fact still remains that the lymph nodes removed included breast
        tissue and not just the armpit if it was breast cancer. Also, let's face
        it, they both hang south due to gravity and age and bras are mandatory
        regardless of size, shape, deformity, etc.

        Taking into consideration her age, her lifestyle and the fact that she was
        not a social butterfly, I would award 100k for damages and 400k for P&S.
        I would hold the radiologist harmless as he did nothing outside of his
        normal course and scope since he doesn't work with ultrasounds anyway and
        everyone knows or should know that. Of the final award I would not hold the
        outpatient center culpable at all because the surgeon should not have
        proceeded without the ultrasound's presence.

        I would then deduct 50% from the award holding Phyllis 50% culpable for
        failing to protect her own body when she had an indication something was not
        right. If she was placed under a general and you failed to mention that, I
        would then only deduct 25% as it was still in her control to demand to
        speak to the surgeon before being put under.

        In other words, $250,000 if no general was administered and $375,000 if it

        By the way, where was the anesthesiologist during all of this?

        Sincerely yours,
        Sue Sarkis
        Sarkis Detective Agency

        (est. 1976)
        PI 6564
        _www.sarkispi.com_ (http://www.sarkispi.com/)

        1346 Ethel Street
        Glendale, CA 91207-1826

        "one Nation under God" and "in GOD we TRUST"

        If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read it in English,
        thank a military veteran

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jurydoctor@aol.com
        My daghter had breast implants. I have had many friends who have had implants. It is very important to some women. although this woman is older, she did have a
        Message 3 of 9 , Jan 12, 2010
          My daghter had breast implants. I have had many friends who have had implants. It is very important to some women.
          although this woman is older, she did have a face lift and therefore, her self esteem is tied into how she looks.
          I am not going to judge her.. or call her vain. I respect her need to feel pretty and feminine.
          I would award her $250,000
          When I heard about christina Applegate having a double mascectomy.. I felt so sorry for her. I always gasp when I hear about someone having breast cancer.
          I can only imagine the pain and suffering women go thru to live thru breast cancer. In some ways this is worse from a mental point of view.
          Thank goodness she did not have her entire breast removed, but she went through a horrible ordeal.

          I care about how I look. I am 62. Men don't whistle anymore when I go by a construction site, my body has changed. I am no longer the youthful girl
          with the great figure.
          But what I do have is not grotesque, it is just part of the natural occuring aging process.
          I say give her $5000 a year for the rest of her life/ or until the age of 80.

          I am about to have a tummy tuck and lipo. I am 56 years old. I am divorced.
          Give her 1 million. and take away the doctor's license.

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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