Plaintiff was VP shunt dependent for hydrocephalus and Chiari malformation since 2000. She alleged that when performing a GYN lap procedure (ovarian cystectomy, hernia repair, lysis of adhesions) on September 7, 2007, the defendant doctor was negligent in failing to consult with a neurosurgeon, either pre-operatively or intra-operatively, before lysing adhesions that had bound/trapped the distal end of the shunt against the anterior abdominal wall. The plaintiff went on to develop a bulge in her right upper abdomen and a leak of what appeared to be cerebro-spinal fluid from the abdominal scar where the distal end of the shunt had been placed into the abdomen/peritoneum. This led to the shunt having to be externalized by her neurosurgeon, after which the plaintiff developed an infection and later meningitis. The plaintiff ultimately underwent 6 surgeries and was hospitalized 44 days (14 in the ICU).
The plaintiff claimed that the defendant’s alleged negligent surgery caused the shunt to migrate out of the peritoneal cavity which required corrective surgery and led to the cascade of problems that ensued.
Defendant doctor with expert support believed that a neurosurgery consult was not indicated and that the plaintiff’s shunt did not migrate out of the peritoneum as a result of the surgery. The jury returned a defense verdict after 6 days of trial in Oneida County.