September 14th, 2010
01:41 PM ET

Doctor sued for 'branding' patient's uterus

Dr. Red Alinsod is being sued for engraving his patient's name on her uterus.

A California gynecologist is being sued for branding a patient's name on her uterus using an "electrocautery device."

Dr. Red Alinsod removed Ingrid Paulicivic's uterus during an operation at his Orange County office in 2006, according to the complaint posted on The Smoking Gun's website. The Laguna Beach doctor carved "Ingrid" on the organ, according to the site, because he "did not want to get it confused with others."

Alinsod told the site that labeling of body parts in that manner is not typical. But, he said, he "felt comfortable putting her name on the uterus" since the 47-year-old hairdresser was a "good friend."

Paulicivic's attorney, Devan Mullins, told that his client did not know her physician before consulting him for the operation. Paulicivic and her husband learned of the branding during a follow-up visit, the lawyer said.

During that visit, Paulicivic complained to Alinsod about burns to her leg that she suffered during the operation, Mullins told The doctor was looking at images that were taken during the operation, and the couple asked for copies.

"Alinsod hesitated to give them the photos," the attorney said, sparking the couple's suspicion that something was wrong. The doctor told the couple that he didn't know how to copy the images, so the husband, who is a photographer, showed Alinsod how to move the images to a memory card, and the couple took them, Mullins said.

Later in the husband's office, the couple looked at the photos and were shocked to see "Ingrid" spelled out in inch-high letters on her uterus.

"They reacted like anyone would react - 'Oh my God, I cannot believe this happened,' " the lawyer said.

The couple hired Mullins, who tried for 90 days to notify Alinsod of an impending complaint, but the doctor did not react. "That's what's been odd - that we've gotten no response from him whatsoever," Mullins said. spoke with Alinsod's office manager Tuesday, who said that the physician was seeing patients and that he would not comment on the litigation.

According to Alinsod's website, he formerly headed gynecologic services at George Air Force Base in California and Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. He was affectionately called a "Combat Gynecologist" by his colleagues, it says.

Post by:
Filed under: Courts • Health Care
soundoff (825 Responses)
  1. Jack

    what's the big deal, the thing was removed right?

    September 15, 2010 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
  2. Matt

    Who cares? If I had a uterus and were to have it removed, I could care less what they do with it. Dry it out, blow it up and turn it into a punching bag for all I care.

    September 15, 2010 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
  3. oneStarman - Walla Walla, WA

    IT SEEMS pretty weird but I don't see how it harmed the patient – I guess I can understand labeling with the tool you have in your hand – I don't understand why he didn't tell his patient that before he gave them the photos.

    September 15, 2010 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
    • This N That

      Isn't getting burned "harm"?

      September 15, 2010 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. Wisdom4u2

    And to the idiot who said "Who Cares?", listen; If it was some man's testicle that had been removed, you can believe he'd be screaming like a lil biatch and making a big schadoo about all the people knowing he was ball-less!!!
    Then to make matters worst, to find out there was a picture of his one of his gonads out there for the world to see and with his name on it!!!! Ooooh, that doctor would have been biatch slapped all over the U.S. of A.!!!!!

    September 15, 2010 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
    • YouNameIsIronic

      1. No one would know about this if the idiot filing suit didn't file suit in the first place.
      2. The only way the pictures would be posted is if the the idiot filing the suit posted the pictures herself.
      3. You need to get back on your psychotropics.

      September 16, 2010 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  5. H

    I have never commented on an article before, so I have two issues to address: (1) The lack of basic reading comprehension and grammatical and spelling skills of the American public is shocking and a shame; and (2) At issue here is not whether this woman's uterus was mere medical waste. The issue is that she was burned during the procedure and those burns were perhaps caused by the doctor not following standard procedure. He potentially caused secondary and unnecessary injury (burns) to this patient by performing an unnecessary act (branding her uterus) while she was still under anesthesia and the uterus was still connected (if even partially) to her body. And, from reading the article and comments, it appears that this occurred by the doctor placing the grounding unit for the cauterization device on her leg and branding the uterus, thus causing unnecessary burns to her leg. One of the commenters (assuming this was a medical professional) stated that in order for cauterization to work the organ must have been somehow still attached to the patient's body. Therefore, the doctor was not merely marking the organ for later identification at an appropriate time and with an appropriate method, but put the patient at unnecessary risk to do so. Also, it is highly plausible that the organ was to be sent for further customary pathology testing and was not immediately discarded. If this woman went to the trouble to visit her doctor because of burns on her leg and requested photographs of the procedure, it seems likely that she indeed suffered something unusual. If that is the case, it is not wrong for her to seek some type of redress, especially since she and her attorney were unable to get a satisfactory response from the doctor. Do any of us want to under the care of a physician who does not follow the customary standard of care? If this doctor's concern was marking the specimen (whether for further pathology testing or even to stick in a jar in his cabinet), it was unnecessary and harmful to the patient to do so in the manner in which he did it. Fully remove the organ, place it in a specimen container, and mark the container. For whatever reason, it was important to him to "brand" the organ, which required placing his patient at risk. And that is the issue – the doctor placed his patient at risk (perhaps unintentional) and injured her.

    September 15, 2010 at 2:01 am | Report abuse |
    • JC

      No one has shown how marking it caused any harm what so ever to any one. The doctors biggest error at this point was releasing photographs taken of the medical procedure to laymen that actually had no right to the photographs. If they feel that he did something wrong they should have filed a compliant and permitted a medical review board to look at the procedure he did and his actions associated with the procedure. Her leg was burned by a grounding pad, not a common occurance but then again not an uncommon one either. As to the severity ofthe burn, it appears that it was not server enough to warrant attention by the hospital staff, she was discharged and apparently doing well after surgery. This is an ecellent example of why medical records are the property of the mediacl doctor and not the patient and why a medical doctor is not required to release medical records to a patient.

      September 15, 2010 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  6. Curious

    Don't now why so many are jumping on this poor woman. Seems wrong for the doctor to do this with her organ, removed or not. Some respect should be shown.

    September 15, 2010 at 2:01 am | Report abuse |
  7. Wisdom4u2

    I can tell it’s the men making those rhetorical comments about the woman’s uterus!
    Before you start with the crude statements about the uterus, consider the fact that your first home was one!!
    Have some respect!!

    September 15, 2010 at 2:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Cheryl

      I couldn't have said it better!

      September 15, 2010 at 3:24 am | Report abuse |
  8. Anon

    What's the big hoopla? Was she wanting to put the uterus on display, siting atop her mantel for friends and family? Pehaps she wanted to have it hanging from her rearview mirror. Mayhap she wanted to pass it along to futrure generations as an heirloom. The doc wrote her name on the excised organ as a means of identification, whoopee, it's not like he bedazzled it.

    Makes me wonder what this lady does with all the hair clippings she deals with on a daily basis. I mean, does she actually throw them in the rubbish? HOW DARE SHE? I think her clients better start laywering up.

    People are such idiots when comes to suing professionals.

    September 15, 2010 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
  9. mk561

    what's the big deal

    September 15, 2010 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
  10. Ituri

    She had unexplained burns on her legs, and he carved her name into her REMOVED ORGAN. This is more than enough to justify investigating this doctor. Who knows what happened, and who knows what other "pranks" he's played. You're on the table unconscious, organs being removed, and you have a doctor carving names into organs as if its finger-painting time. Seriuosly unprofessional, and severely questionable behavior.

    September 15, 2010 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
  11. Doomsayer24

    all people think docs make mistakes to much its not that way cause they have to keep people sick in order to make there money.....some people do have there organs stolen by the NWO and other goverment agencys for stem cell cloning.... this lady had her uterus missing and found it wit her name on it, how can you explane that? i would say aliens but they definately wont know her name, and if it not them then it is the NWO cloning enginere agency..most wont belief me... all you sheeple can call me crazy but none of you can see it like me,ive studied esoterics for years now and i cant be blinded away from the TRUTH like you SHEEPLE are

    September 15, 2010 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
  12. Heather

    This is such a frivolous lawsuit. I agree with every other female on this site...who cares?! I think this doctor has done nothing malicious and he has done no harm.

    September 15, 2010 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Cheryl

      You say that now until something like that is done to you and then Oh My God! I've been violated!! You're so glib.

      September 15, 2010 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
  13. DocAce

    This will get no where whatsoever.. Malpractice, nope. He most likely marked it for forensic ID. After the operation, take a quick look through the organ, take a sample, send it to the lab and note that it belonged to "Ingrid". They are wasting the courts time.

    Remember anyone can sue anyone for anything, it's the American way I guess.

    Yes, some lawyers are diggers..

    September 15, 2010 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
  14. Amy J

    So what happened to the uterus? This seems awfully trivial, and I have a uterus.

    September 15, 2010 at 2:37 am | Report abuse |
  15. maiky

    I agree with mk561, um.. Who cares? This is supposed to be news?

    September 15, 2010 at 2:38 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35