Surgical Malpractice: Perforations to the Duodenum During Robotic Hysterectomy

Surgical Malpractice: Perforations to the Duodenum During Robotic Hysterectomy

February 6, 2023

Attorney Jason Matzus is pursuing a case on behalf of a woman because of surgical malpractice that occurred during a robotic total hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy surgery. Robotic-assisted surgery uses specialized technology that should enhance the surgeon’s capabilities to perform procedures through small incisions and it should also enable precise movements and enhanced magnification of the surgical field. However, as this case demonstrates, surgical malpractice can still occur during robotic surgery. The case is against a surgeon who works for Conemaugh Medical Center and Conemaugh OB/GYN in Johnstown, Blair County, Pennsylvania.

During the surgery, when the surgeon entered the abdominal cavity, he used a surgical tool known as a trocar, but he inserted it incorrectly, causing what is referred to as a “through and through” perforation of the anterior wall of the stomach/duodenum and posterior wall of the duodenum. An injury to the duodenum during trocar insertion during a total hysterectomy should not occur as the duodenum is located in the uppermost abdominal cavity and the surgeon incorrectly inserted the trocar at a tangential angle causing injury to the duodenum.

During a subsequent repair surgery performed by a different surgeon, the new surgeon confirmed that the duodenum perforations were caused by the surgical trocar because the size of the holes were the exact same size of the surgical trocar. The through and through perforation of the patient’s duodenum was severe and created a very difficult diagnostic and treatment challenge. The patient has undergone 9 additional surgeries to try and fix the problems caused by the duodenum perforation. However, the patient has permanent injuries and significant permanent scarring from all the additional surgeries.


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