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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Filed under: Courts • Health Care
soundoff (825 Responses)
  1. James T K

    Frivolous Law Suite.!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Just looking for a big payday.
    I hope the judge throws the case out and fines her.

    September 15, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. patch vader

    To paraphrase my grand dad, one uterus is pretty much like another, you have to mark it some how. I guess if my penis had to be removed for some life altering condition, maybe i could have its name marked on it( goober, my friend, thumper, the general, the boss, born to be wild, whatever). Imagine, a new CSI series with doctor marked body parts.

    September 15, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  3. Tina

    This sounds like another typical case of trying to get some money. As a woman, as long as the procedure was done properly and I was able to heal and recover from it, then who cares. These people are just trying to get their 15 minutes of fame and money. Evidently, the uterus was removed for a reason, so as a woman, I could care less of what they do with it.

    September 15, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jason

    And peopel wonder why health care costs have skyrocketed in the last few decades. This lady will probably settle the case for somewhere between 250K and 1M which will be paid by the doctor's malpractice insurance, which will drive up the cost of insurance, which will drive up the cost to all doctors, which ends up coming out of the public's pockets in the end.

    September 15, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  5. Sean

    This is ridiculous. If she is having an organ removed, why does she care if he marks it with something. Our society is too sensitive and worried about little things. It may just be an excuse to try to get some money from someone who has it. Once we goto Obamacare, all the doctors will be more likely to cross so called "lines" because like in Canada, there is no liability for Government workers-notice how this doctor used to be an Air Force doctor-can't sue your doctor their either.

    September 15, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  6. BChel Baybee

    People will sue for anything.

    I am a woman. &&this is dumb. I understand suing if he in fact DID get your uterus mixed up.

    I will admit, I stopped reading the article halfway through. So I do not know (or care) if he put the organ back in.
    If he put the organ back in –if its functioning. YOUR FINE! think of it as an internal tattoo
    If the organ stays out –who gives a "ish" if he played frisbee with it afterwards... its OUT!

    Get a life people who sue over nonsense. Getting a Life = Happiness

    September 15, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. Carly

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1311923/Doctor-sued-carving-patients-removed-uterus-friendly-gesture.html

    Do ou research, people. It had already been removed. The patient later claims that she and her husband now lack intimacy as a result of the surgery itself? What exactly are they trying to accomplish here? None of this makes any sense, and I feel it is the patient, not the doctor, who is a little off.

    September 15, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. wadejlong

    actually when they saw the pictures, they were like, "OMG, we're RICH!"

    September 15, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. Gus

    Here's a scenario. Removed organs are always sent to pathology for further testing. Suppose her utereus was some how mixed up with another womans who had cancer? The first woman now receives the news she has cancer (when in fact she does not). This sounds like the doctor covering his a$$ in that event.

    September 15, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  10. Sly

    So...the self-styled combat gyno writes the patient's name on her insides without permission (instead of reading charts or, dare I say it, actually speaking to and making eye contact with the patient beforehand), then hides behind being a good friend of the patient and a desperate lie of not knowing how to copy images over.

    Strip him of his license, finish the lawsuit, and move on.

    September 15, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • OhioPaul

      This is like an accountant writing notes all over scrap paper during an audit...the paper is going to be shredded, or a painter writing stupid messages on a wall that is going to be painted over...Why would the company care that the accountant wrote on their paper, when it was going to be shredded or burned anyway, or covered up with paint and never seen again?

      September 15, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • OhioPaul

      I just don't see some people are so ready to destroy this man's life for something that did no harm to anyone. Wierd, yes, but would you want to have your whole livleihood taken from you because someone's sensibilities were offended by a harmless act by you? This doctor possibly saved her life, they don't take out healthy organs....now he gets this?

      September 15, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  11. cameron

    this is possible the dumbest lawsuit ive ever seen. they will not win because it was already removed, and im agreeing with every person on here that knows what there talking about and makes sense, how in the hell is he going to get uterus' mixed up? what, does he have like a secret underground vault of nothing but jared and preserved uterus' so he can go down there and beat it to em? what a freak!

    September 15, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  12. Kim S.

    Her uterus was *removed*. Why does she care afterwards what happens to it...how it's identified? Absurd. As for the burns on her leg, that is another story, and I would need more information. Yet another frivilous lawsuit.

    September 15, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  13. Randy Treadway

    That the reporter wrote this story the way they did- NOT making it clear that the uterus was marked AFTER removal and was NOT put back into her body after the surgery. And NOT making it clear that the primary purpose of the surgery was to remove the uterus....
    And then throwing in the gratuitous comment about 'combat gynecologist' simply because of military service....
    .....this reporter is practicing the worst kind of one-sided journalism and should be fired or reprimanded by their employer.
    It's so obvious... that to me the whole story and any future articles by this reporter loses their credibility in my eyes. Unfortunately there are way too many journalists like this today who can't stand to be neutral and think they have to be crusading at every turn, even when there's nothing to crusade about. Go back to journalism school. Or maybe this icrap s what they're teaching in today's journalism schools?

    September 15, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Byteskat

      Agreed 100%, Randy. Very shoddy reporting.

      September 15, 2010 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. Chasaty

    Who cares about her busted uterus. Just another excuse to sue someone. And no, i would not care if it was mine...DOESNT MATTER.

    September 15, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tara

    I don't understand? The article said he removed her uterus. Did he remove it temporarily then re-insert it? If not, then who the F cares?!?! If I had my tonsils removed and the doctor decided to put my initials on them, again, WHO CARES? This lawsuit should be immediately thrown out.

    September 15, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
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