By ANABELLE GARAY, Associated Press Writer
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A surgeon being sued for branding a patient's uterus with the initials of his alma mater-the University of Kentucky-defended his actions Tuesday as a routine part of a hysterectomy.
Dr. Michael Guiler said in a statement that marking the uterus gives doctors a point of reference before it is removed.
Guiler, who used a cauterizing instrument to brand "UK" on Stephanie Means' uterus, said the letters marked the organ's midline and distinguished its left and right side.
"Not only am I always able to remain oriented for the patient's safety, I felt this was honorable since it made reference to the college of medicine where I received my medical degree," he said in the statement, which he read to reporters.
Guiler emphasized that the markings "were not intended to demean the patient in any way and were done only with the patient's safety in mind."
Means filed suit last week, claiming she suffered emotional distress after viewing a videotape of last year's operation. She and her husband are seeking unspecified damages.
Earlier, in interviews on ABC's "Good Morning America" and NBC's "Today," Guiler said that before surgery, patients are informed about the procedure, how it is performed and about the need to mark the uterus. But he said the type of marking was not previously discussed.
Kim Alumbaugh, chairwoman of the Kentucky chapter of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said some surgeons rely on stitches, burn marks or other identifiers before removing an organ.
Alumbaugh declined to comment on the specifics of the lawsuit but said the state medical licensing board will probably review the case.
"A situation like this, where there is some controversy, will be reviewed, and rightly so to evaluate it for appropriate medical procedure," she said. "In any surgical procedure, the dignity of the patient must be respected."
I have a couple of questions:
1. If your uterus is about to be removed, would it really bother you if the doctor "wrote" something on if beforehand, or is this woman just being over-sensitive?
2. Is she upset that the surgeon used the initials of the school, or just angry at the marking itself?
3. Even if this wasn't a hysterectomy, and assuming there was no permanent damage, is it really a big deal to have a marking on a part of the body that absolutely no one -- including yourself will see?
4. If marking an organ to be removed is standard procedure, does it matter that it was done in this manner?
I'm not saying the surgeon didn't do something wrong... I am just wondering if this couple haven't blown the incident way out of preportion.
Jan 29, '03
there was a previous thread started about this topic. And I DO think this gal is going way overboard! I mean it's a ******* UTERUS! And she was already getting rid of it!
Jan 29, '03
You know... I thought this was already covered in another thread, but I couldn't find it again. Oh well... :imbar
Jan 29, '03
been covered 3 times. see the OB area for it's still current there, I think.
Must Read Topics