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 CNN.com 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 CNN.com. 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.

CNN.com 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.

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soundoff (825 Responses)
  1. Morgen

    This is just too stupid to believe. If for some reason they needed to test the tissue and there was a mixup she would have sued for that. Get over herself. Return the damn thing to her in a ziploc!

    September 14, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Barney

    boo hoo !!! who cares ?? is anyone ever going to really see it ?? "he said, he "felt comfortable putting her name on the uterus" since the 47-year-old hairdresser was a "good friend."" she probably denies it becus they wer prob "involved" n didnt want the husband or watevr to find out, at least the doc didn't write "Red" or it would prob be a diff story ... lol ...

    September 14, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • kypdurron5

      She's not mad- she just wants free money, that's all there is to it. It's definitely weird for the doctor to have done that; however, this is exactly the reason we need frivolous lawsuit reform in this country.

      September 15, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. RightPower

    dat is doh illest!!!

    September 14, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. frak

    What's the big deal? Is she mad because she was planning on having her uterus bronzed and displayed on the mantle over the fireplace and now it's ruined? I'll admit it is kinda creepy and weird, but just let the husband punch the doctor in the nose and we'll call it case closed. Don't waste the court's time on an old, worn out uterus.

    September 14, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • KLM

      GOLF CLAP for Frak! LMAO at Noble...hahaha

      September 14, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeFallsChurchVA

      LOL Frak, well played.

      September 15, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  5. Barney

    since the husband is a photog then is it possible that he just photochopped it n added the tag after thet got the pix ??

    September 14, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • WickedPrincess

      If the husband had photoshopped it in then the doctor's copies of the pictures would prove that and the case would have to be dropped immediately.

      September 15, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Oklahoma29

    Am I the only one that finds it odd that her uterus was removed, branded, and photographed? Did he do the branding before or after the removal. I just don't understand why the patient would want to look at pictures of the removed uterus, which i think is gross that pictures are even taken! I think there is something huge missing in this story. The story makes no sense.

    September 14, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tootie

      It is common practice in the medical/dental field to photograph things removed from the body. Often they are measured, and usually you can see a measuring tape/ruler in the photo. It is highly likely her uterus was being removed for medical reasons, since it isn't something you typically elect to do, they probably wanted to photograph its size, texture, color, or whatever they may need. It isn't sick or even unusual at all.

      September 14, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rebeca

      Wow – I'm from Oklahoma – please don't let her comment make all of us look stupid. I worked with Pathology for over 20 years. Pictures are taken of EVERYTHING! Many doctors use brands or other identifing marks. Do you realize how many places something can be lost in a hospital despite every best effort because of HUMAN error? Maybe we DESERVE standardized care in this country because of BS like this!

      September 14, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jason

    These are the same patients that complain when the doctor "brands" his initials on the body part on which surgery is to be done.....with a marking pen....

    September 14, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. HeyZeus

    After the piece is removed (it is NOT an organ folks), it is considered biological waste .. that is WASTE. it no longer belongs to her, at belongs to the hospital/clinic. If he were marking it for ID for later pathological exams (strange, yes) then I could see it happening. This woman needs to be counter sued by the doctor and the hospital for being a moron.

    September 14, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oklahoma29

      You are obviously not a woman or a doctor! A uterus is an organ (check your medical books again please). Also, according to the story the photos were taken during the operation not after. That would mean he "carved" her name on it during the operation. Yes, that organ is not longer needed and should be disposed, so why exactly does he need to keep it from getting lost from the other uteruses? The carving and well collection is absolutely sick and well kind of disturbing.

      September 14, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Winter

      What the hell? It's biological waste, but waste or not, it's still an organ in the same way that were a kidney to be removed and thrown away, it too would still be an organ.

      You're certainly a smart one.

      September 14, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Female!!!!!!!!!!

    Really! Who cares? He didnt hurt her obviously shes fine after the procedure she should be thanking him not trying to get money! What A pathetic, ungreatful, woman. Hope the doc doesnt have to pay her!

    September 14, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • THX

      He burnt her thigh. Last I checked, getting burnt hurt. Who expects to go in for an invasive internal operation and leave with a burnt thigh?

      September 15, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joe

    I'd have written my own name.

    September 14, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • WickedPrincess

      Did you see the story a few weeks/months ago about the doctor that branded a patient's uterus with the initials of his alma mater? He did that on a uterus that WASN'T removed. The patient only found out when she saw the pcitures of the procedure. Last I heard the doctor was being investigated by his state's medical board and the case was headed to court. INSANE.

      September 15, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joanne

    Did anyone get it that the article said he removed the uterus in his office. Excuse me but that's not possible. The entire store sounds as phony as they come.

    September 14, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • kleentx

      That's the same thing I thought, Joanne. In his OFFICE?! What kind of doctor does that? And that crap they added at the end of the article about him being "affectionately called a "Combat Gynecologist" by his colleagues" is neither here nor there in the context of the story.

      September 14, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • fluffpuppy

      I wondered the same thing. When did a hysterectomy (major surgery) become an office procedure? Also, it makes sense that if a biopsy or other testing was required, the uterus would have been placed in a labeled specimen container and sent to the lab. This is very strange.

      September 14, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Winter

      At least where I live, there are some doctor's offices that operate within buildings that are allowed to do operations. I don't know if this is the case here. The story is sort of badly formulated and leaves out a lot of important information.

      September 14, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • CARL

      Maybe she had an HMO. If they have their way, brain surgery will soon have to be done in the office.

      September 14, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Noelle

      Interesting but yeah.. why would he do that inside the office. As we all know, medical personnel always do surgical procedures inside the operating room. Secondly, the unhealed wounds and dead cells will cause physiological disturbances.

      September 14, 2010 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Loriloct18

    OK? I am trying to figure out what the big deal is? What kind of operation did she have done? I am sure that the uterus was not removed and then put back into her. I would think the Dr would not be ignorant to "brand" her name into her uterus while it was still in her. There just is to many questions in this. My opinion now is that "people has to sue over EVERYTHING!! no wonder the cost of a Dr's visit is an arm and a leg!!"

    September 14, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yay Docs.

      The cost of a doctor's visit reflects the decade of education that they go through to take care of patient's properly (and pay the bills for the staff, building, equipment, etc.)

      September 14, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kim

    And why did they want copies of the photos of the operation? Were they going to frame them?

    September 14, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • THX

      I'm guessing they asked for photos to prove he performed the correct operation. The thigh he burnt and the uterus are a good distance away from each other.

      September 15, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • WickedPrincess

      I have stage IV endometriosis and have had quite a few surgeries on my reproductive organs and have always gotten pictures of my surgeries and in one case video so that future doctors can look at them and know exactly what was done. It's actually a very common practice.

      September 15, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Fiona

    My post was apparently rejected by the censor, so here is another version:

    I'm betting that this doc's home computer has a large store of similar shots of branded uteri. There is no logical reason to label a body part. If the organ was going out for biopsy (more likely just part of it), it would go into a specimen container that is labeled with a code. This has to be an especially sick fetish. It's one of the reasons I stick with female gynos. Any man who does this for a living is immediately suspect, in my eyes. I was manually violated by a male technician doing an ultrasound, and the guy got away with it.

    September 14, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gross

      Lol I was thinking the same thing. Why did he fear it would get lost with the others? Does he collect these things!!! Sicko.

      September 14, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      Perhaps he was planning on doing some tests on the Uterus and wanted to make sure that he was dealing with the right patient if perhaps something was found terribly wrong with the removed uterus. Better to be safe in knowing who it belongs to instead of chancing it that you give someone the wrong information.

      September 14, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • LabGirl

      He must be getting a sick thrill out of his "trophy" because he's a male gynecologist? Huh? Like no female GYN could be twisted? Dream on. Female docs aren't immune to being wacko. I've been to both male and female GYN's – symptoms dismissed by the females as "we all get that, honey", when I knew something wasn't right with my body. Male GYN listened, agreed something was wrong and treated it. Compassion and skill knows no gender. Weirdness knows no gender.

      September 14, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • paul ward

      Docters are expected to conduct themselves professionally, this guy was not professional and it caused the patient to suffer emotionally. What is even more distresssing is the fact he was in the Air Force. There is no such thing as a combat gynecologist! If he is not sued he should atleast be turned over to the board of Medical Examiners so that he can enjoy the thrills of driving an ambulance!!!

      September 15, 2010 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  15. Kathy

    Crude behavior...this is why we've invented "random " drug testing.
    I'd like to know if the rest of staff in that operating room reported him to the administration?

    September 14, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
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