Your doctor tells you to "sign here" and everything will be okay. You don't ask questions and you don't read the consent form since the doctor is so reassuring. You are in surgery much longer than expected. Nevertheless, the doctor comes out and tells your family everything went great. Unfortunately for this woman, everything wasn't that great. She had symptoms over the next few days to suggest that there were problems that should have been looked into. There were delays in recognizing she had a bowel perforation, or a hole, that was never recognized at the time of surgery.

No one recognized that this patient's continued complaints of abdominal pain, fever and infection could possibly be related to a perforation caused during her original gynecologic surgery. Her condition continued to deteriorate to the point where MRIs were taken and even then, when it was clear that she had free air in her belly the surgeon still failed to take her to the operating room in a timely fashion.

Corrective surgery done five days after her initial surgery required her to have a colostomy which continually leaked over the next three months. She required surgery to close a colostomy opening and she had to have further surgery as a result of a hernia that resulted from this corrective surgery. In her particular case, corrective surgery would have been required whether this had been recognized two days after her first surgery or five days after the surgery.