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.

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soundoff (825 Responses)
  1. Ronald H

    It's ok for a car manufacturer to "tattoo" my new car with their name and logo; people pay a lot of money to wear clothes that advertise the brand. And people pay thousands to have tattoos placed on very sensitive parts of their bodies- why not get your name on your uterus FOR FREE???

    September 15, 2010 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  2. compassmd

    The doctor was able to write LEGIBLY write the patient's name so that she could recognize it with a cauterizer. No erasers on those things. If nothing else, good practice and find motor skills?

    September 15, 2010 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. Lynne

    I suspect this is done more often than anyone realizes. Too bad Ingrid had to find out about it. She probably feels violated in some way.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. Emmy

    I'm an OR nurse.

    First off, we don't do hysterectomies as an office procedure, so that part of the article is wrong.

    If she had burns on her leg, it is likely from the grounding pad for the electrocautery device. We use that device in almost every surgery we do. It is an appropriate tool for the operation. Burns at the grounding pad site are a rare risk, and we always chart skin condition at the site before and after the surgery. In my 13 years, I haven't seen a single burn, but they can happen.

    This is kinda weird, but not like the doctor who carved his name on a patient's abdominal skin a few years back. This smacks of the frivolous lawsuits everyone in medicine fears.

    There are many details in this brief article that are missing to really understand what occurred.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  5. joel

    Just another person trying to get something for nothing. This is whats wrong with our county, f in lawyers and lawmakers

    September 15, 2010 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  6. laxman

    Just another example of an useless lawyer. He knows he has no case, just wants his 15 minutes of fame. The couple involved should be ashamed of themselves for causing the doctor to pay higher premiums over something that caused no harm, which will be the only outcome of this. Hopefully this couple will have a hard time finding another doctor willing to take them on as patients.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dwelve

    Just another idiot in this country trying to get rich quick.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. johnsmith12161965

    All about "$$$$$" nothing more, nothing less.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  9. Kristi

    Where I live a doctor was sued for something similar. Making a visible landmark during this procedure is not uncommon as it gives the doctor a reference point to work from. Not sure what became of the suite here but I believe it was dismissed as a panel of experts testified that many doctors are trained to do that.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. RabidinL.A.

    It is my hopes this couple didn't previously reproduce. Ours has become a nation of whiners, of any and all little things. I hope the doctor emerges unscathed by this "uter" garbage. Thanks for inflating health care and insurance premiums you idiots.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  11. Krow

    He should have "Ingrid" etched on his penis. But doctor is such a weenie that they'll probably have to settle for "Ing".

    September 15, 2010 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. LUCA

    You're supposed to label the container with the patients information, not the actual organ. It doesn't seem like a big deal really, but the doctor is acting sketchy so maybe he has a uterus fetish.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  13. Mark

    When I saw the word "branding," I thought it was being used in a marketing context. I mean, maybe the doctor put a logo, and a message like, "at 50,000 miles, call Doctor Alinsod for service @ 555-1212." Would have been a way better story. And if someone actually does it, I WANT CREDIT FOR THE IDEA!

    September 15, 2010 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  14. bluegrassmama

    That's it...... lets waste more of the court's time and tax payer's money on something so ignorant!!!! Like the courts don't have anything better to do..... Can you say "MONEY GRUBBER"?????

    September 15, 2010 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  15. Maverick

    Great, he's started a new trend...tattooing on the inside.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
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