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Woman Wins $5.76M Over Botched Stomach Procedure

A jury has awarded $5.76 million to a woman who fell victim to a surgical error during a stomach surgery and a postoperative infection.

The Procedure

In 1999, Kathy Roberts, now 45, went to Wetzel County Hospital for surgery to treat her acid reflux problems.

The procedure that should have been performed was called a “wrap.” In that procedure a portion of the stomach is wrapped around the bottom of the esophagus to prevent stomach acid from rising.
Instead of performing the routine procedure, however, Dr. Coimbatore P. Anandhi Murthy got creative and tried an unknown procedure, said Geoff Brown, Roberts’ lawyer.

Murthy sewed Roberts’ stomach to her diaphragm.

“I think the point we really tried to emphasize during the course of the trial was that when you’re dealing with the insides of a human body, it’s not the best outlet to express any kind of creativity,” said Brown.

The Injuries

Roberts, a farmer and former EMT, suffered severely as a result of the strange procedure, said Brown.

“That’s a life-altering event,” said Brown. “There is hardly anything about her life today that is the same as it was before Dr. Murthy did all this.

After the surgery at Wetzel County Hospital, Roberts went to the hospital at West Virginia University to undo the surgery, but doctors there told her it was too risky, said Brown.

Roberts developed an infection because of the surgery. She eventually got treatment at the Cleveland Clinic. Doctors there removed a large section of her stomach and esophagus and replaced them with portions of her colon.

Victim of Medical Malpractice?

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