Woman Suing Doctors After They Removed The Wrong Body Part


Someone wasn’t paying attention in medical school.

Deborah Craven from Connecticut is suing her doctors after they removed the wrong body part and then lied about it.

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The 60 year old was admitted to hospital in May last year for surgery to remove a rib after a painful lesion was found. However, she is now filing a lawsuit against Yale University School of Medicine, Yale New Haven Medical Centre and the two doctors involved in her procedure, claiming that the surgical team lied to her about the reason for performing a second operation.

She says that despite radiologists marking the site of the lesion by injecting a marking dye and a metallic coil into the rib that was supposed to be amputated, surgeons still cocked it up and removed the wrong one. When Deborah awoke from the surgery and found that she was still in the same agonising pain that she had been before the procedure, doctors performed an x-ray to investigate.

They found that they had removed the perfectly healthy 7th rib, rather than the 8th which was causing the problem. To top things off, instead of owning up to his outrageous fuck up, the trainee cardiothoracic surgeon told Miss Craven that not enough rib had been removed and they’d have to open her up a second time to finish off the job. Although to be fair, I suppose that’s not strictly telling a lie.

Rib Surgery

Joel T. Faxon, the lawyer in charge of the lawsuit had this to say:

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The fact that the surgical team operated on the wrong rib despite a clear indication of the proper site is, of course, negligent.

But the fact that a cardiothoracic surgeon in training would make the outrageous claim that “not enough rib had been taken” really takes this to another level of culpability.

As the old adage goes, “The cover up is worse than the crime.”

Is that an old adage? Anyway, the worst thing about this whole scenario is that the US health system is so shit that they probably charged her for both operations. However, she’ll probably recover the cost of the surgery and then some in this lawsuit – so she might be down a few ribs but her bank balance is about to get a lot healthier. Every cloud and all that.

I can’t decide what’s worse: having the wrong body part removed, or having a pair of surgical scissors left in your abdomen for twelve years.


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