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Doctors sued after removing wrong organ from man's body during surgery

By Brooke Villanueva Published Nov 12, 2023 4:36 pm

Two doctors and a hospital are being sued after they removed the wrong organ from a man during his operation.

According to a report by USA Today, the patient named George Piano was supposed to have his appendix taken out after being diagnosed with appendicitis in December 2022. He and his wife Elizabeth, however, filed a medical malpractice lawsuit earlier this month and claimed that while the procedure was ongoing, doctors were not able to find the right organ so they went ahead and took out a part of his bowel.

After the operation, Piano's lawyers Ed Moore and Van Shaw said in a joint statement that his abdominal pain got "worse than before his surgery" and that his bowel contents "began to spill into his abdominal cavity, causing him to become much sicker."

Piano agreed to undergo a CT scan, which later showed that his appendix was never taken out after all. It prompted him to have it done at the same hospital two days later.

Citing court documents, the media outlet reported that a surgeon "removed a piece of diverticulitis on Piano's lower colon−not on his appendix−and he needed another surgery to repair a 'leaky colon' and address an abdominal infection caused by the Dec. 6 surgery."

Piano recalled his horrific experience in an interview on USA Today, saying that he woke up from surgery "in serious pain."

He added that since the alleged botched surgery, he has "lost about 40 pounds, has anxiety, and has suffered short-term memory loss."

"We didn’t want it to happen to someone else. Someone needed to put a stop to this and take responsibility and say this happened—we need to take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again," he continued.

Susan Gregg, a spokesperson for the hospital, released a statement on the matter. "UW Medicine strives to provide the best possible care to all of our patients; their safety and well-being is deeply important to us," she said.

USA Today reported that Piano and his wife are seeking monetary damages and demanding a jury trial in the lawsuit.