Cautery-induced burn to upper lip during laparoscopic cholecystectomy – Permanent scarring.
The plaintiff, age 31, brought this action against two surgeons and the hospital where a laparoscopic cholecystectomy was performed. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants negligently allowed a cautery-induced burn to occur to the plaintiff’s upper lip during the procedure.
The plaintiff underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy on August 6, 1994. During the procedure she sustained a cautery-induced burn to the left upper lip. The plaintiff’s medical expert opined that the electro-cautery unit should not have been anywhere near the plaintiffs lip and should have been maintained securely and should not have been activated until it was needed for its appropriate use.
Evidence showed that the plaintiff suffered a through and through burn on her lip which resulted in a 2.5 x 2.0 centimeter scar over the left lip area. The plaintiff contended that the area of the scar remained tender and caused some discomfort. The plaintiff was placed on vitamin E daily and observation. Her plastic surgeon reported that the plaintiff will require at least one scar revision along with an excision of the scar, but that the scar will remain permanent.
The case settled prior to trial for $95,000. The first surgeon paid $85,000 of the settlement and the hospital contributed $10,000.
Plaintiffs expert surgeon: Theodore R. Struhl from Miami.
Silguero vs. South Miami Hospital, Inc. Case no.95.10991; Judge Leonard Rivkind, 11-95.
Attorney for plaintiff: Brett Alan Panter of Panter &Panter, P.A. in Miami.