Decedent, then 52, required a hysterectomy due to endometrial hyperplasia. According to decedent, the defendant OB/GYN recommended against performing a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes) in conjunction with the hysterectomy because this would bring on early menopause and its associated side effects. Approximately one year after the hysterectomy, decedent began to experience abdominal pain. She underwent a CT scan then MRI, which demonstrated that she had a hydosalpinx (fallopian tube filled with fluid). However, the defendant OB/GYN did not perform a physical examination and did not order any further radiology studies in the following months to follow up on the hydrosalpinx, despite continual abdominal pain. Eventually, decedent underwent exploratory surgery which revealed Stage IIIC Ovarian Cancer. She received over 30 cycles of chemotherapy over the course of the next several years, but eventually died from the cancer.
We claimed that the OB/GYN was negligent in recommending against a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO) in light of the fact that decedent was close to menopause, and that a BSO virtually eliminates the risk of a patient later developing ovarian cancer. The defendant OB/GYN claimed that he did recommend to decedent that she undergo a BSO, but she refused. However, the doctor’s notes contained no record that a BSO was ever recommended or refused. We also claimed that the OB/GYN was negligent in failing to order timely follow up studies and perform physical examinations in light of the patient’s complaints of continual abdominal pain.