A Washington man who went to the emergency room over stomach pains is suing a hospital and two doctors after he claims surgeons removed the wrong organ from his body during surgery.
George Piano and his wife Elizabeth Piano, from Lake Forest Park, filed a medical malpractice lawsuit Nov. 2 in King County Superior Court following the Dec. 6 alleged botched surgery, court records show.
The 13-page suit names the University of Washington Medical Center and two UW surgeons, Nidhi Udyavar and Paul Herman, as defendants in the case.
According to the suit, George Piano visited the hospital’s emergency room on Dec. 6, for abdominal pain, was diagnosed with appendicitis, and taken into surgery so doctors could remove his appendix.
‘The bowel contents began to spill’
But during surgery, the suit claims, doctors were unable to locate the patient’s appendix and, instead, removed a part of his bowel.
“Following surgery, Mr. Piano began to experience abdominal pain which was worse than before his surgery,” his attorneys Ed Moore and Van Shaw wrote in a press release. “The bowel contents began to spill into his abdominal cavity causing him to become much sicker.”
Two days later, according to the release, Piano was advised that a CT scan revealed his appendix was never removed during the surgery. On Dec. 8, Piano went back into surgery at the same hospital and doctors removed his appendix.
According to the lawsuit, a doctor 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.
“It’s been a hell of a year,” Piano told USA TODAY Tuesday. “I’m not the same person I was when this started.’
“When I woke up and came out of the drugs, I was in serious pain. Much worse than I had been in when I went to the hospital,” he said.
Piano said that over the last year, he spent 53 days in the hospital, lost about 40 pounds, has anxiety and has suffered short-term memory loss as a result of the alleged medical mishap.
He said he and his wife did not want to file the lawsuit, but “after getting no response from the hospital,” they decided to.
“I feel very lucky that I’m still alive,”he said. “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.”
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‘The best possible care’
Susan Gregg, spokesperson for the University of Washington Medicine, said the hospital could not comment on pending litigation but released the following statement to USA TODAY on Tuesday.
“UW Medicine strives to provide the best possible care to all of our patients; their safety and well-being is deeply important to us.”
The suit seeks monetary damages and demands a jury trial.
Natalie Neysa Alund is a senior reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at email@example.com and follow her on X @nataliealund.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Doctors remove wrong organ from Washington man during surgery