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. janichingas

    its obvious the utures was tagged and stored for future scientific research, know for her suing the dr its obvious she don't have the funds to pay her copayment

    September 14, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jessica, Grand Rapids MI

    I feel slow today – he removed the uterus (not putting it back in) and branded her name on it...and there's a lawsuit why?
    I just had my engine replaced, and im pretty sure they labelled my old engine with my name on it...they might even have taken the time to carve it in, then I should double sue them!

    September 14, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • This N That

      In the process of writing on the uterus, HE BURNED HER LEG. That was the malpractice. Everyone is distracted with the writing instead of focusing on her injury. It was a battery.

      September 14, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yay Docs.

      The burn on the leg is a risk of the surgery (if it's from the caudery), although a very low risk. It happens, not the doctor's fault.

      September 14, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tracey

      Um, YayDocs? Yeah, it is if he was farting around with the tool and writing her name on her uterus.

      September 15, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  3. Laura

    He probably is required by law to mark body parts so that they are easily distinguishable from each other. His method might be odd, but unless he put something private on there, like her last name and SS number, I don't really know what he did wrong. As for the burn on the leg, though, that is odd. Did he slip and fall? This article is not clear.

    September 14, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. tommy

    he did nothing of any concern to anyone who is not a sicko. What's next? Sue him for burning the damn thing to dispose of it? Maybe she wanted it in a carry out bag?

    September 14, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Vivian

    I agree...its another way for someone to try and get money instatly, no harm was done and its not like the uterus was posted on facebook or for sale, give me a break lady!

    September 14, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. FOTCL

    Ok, this is just funny. I would be at least glad I did not have the guy give me a nose job or something.

    September 14, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Michele

    This is the craziest story I've ever heard! I would be more concerned about a hysterectomy being done in the office as opposed to him branding the uterus. Folks will do & say anything for a $1.00.

    September 14, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Lainie

    There has to be more to the story than they are reporting. The actual point, IMO, is that the uterus should have gone to pathology intact, sterile, without any unnecessary changes made to it.

    The burn marks on her leg should be explained, and he allegedly did not do that.

    September 14, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nurse

      Lol uhhh yea the insides of your body....NOT STERILE, not even close and I really hope that an organ never goes to pathology still "intact" because medically speaking, it would still be attached to her, worrisome.

      September 17, 2010 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
  9. tony

    This is why I use post-it notes on the organs in my office.

    September 14, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Macy

    ok wait she didn't want the uterus but now she is mad he wrote on it..please...doctors label all organs with tape in a jar or in this case the laser...what is the big deal...all she is thinking of is $$$$

    September 14, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jim

    I don't see any harm here. This patient is obviously after deep pockets – although with Obamacare, physicians will no longer have deep pockets. My advice to this woman who feels like she was done 'wrong' – take a page out of the Amish's playbook – forgive and forget.

    September 14, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Homeschool Mom in AZ

    Is she suing because he burnt her leg? I think it is reasonable for a woman to expect not have her leg burnt while having a gynecological procedure done.

    If she's suing because he wrote her name on a removed organ, I think we need to ask, "What is the standard of practice for labeling human tissue?" If he needed a sample for testing, I think carving a name into the tissue is probably not meeting up with medical guidelines. Has anyone else had a tissue sample labeled with a first name on the tissue itself? Every sample of every kind I ever had done was put into a sterile container with detailed patient,doctor, and medical code (probably for specifying which kind of test was to be done) on it.

    I think the writer here didn't ask very good questions and is focusing on the carving aspect for sensational purposes.

    September 14, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. loreebeeeeeeeeber

    Not sure what the lawsuit would be about? You need negligence (maybe....did he violate the standard of care here?), causation (the negligence CAUSED the injury), and damages. Does she have all three? MAYBE she has one element, negligence (if indeed he violated some standard of care). But causation? Damages? There is no injury, nothing to sue for.

    September 14, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • This N That

      The leg is BURNED = injury. Simple.

      September 14, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • This is Why Medical Insurance is So High

      She could have burned her leg at home = not his fault.

      How can you urn someone after the organ was removed. There is no way he would have tried to label it while it was still inside her. Not only is that illogical but it is damn near impossible!

      September 14, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJ

      excuse me this and that. Since you obviously examined her and saw her leg can you give more details. Did it look like a burn as a result of a cautery. I'm only asking because since I didn't examine or see her (I'm only a nurse). I 'm going to go with the statement that she CLAIMS her leg was burnt. Sitting in the Emergency Room for 12 hours a day I can tell you that woman are the worst offender of exaggerating, dramatizing and sometimes completely fabricating their symptoms. It's easy to assess as probably greater than 75 of all people that present for treatment in ER's are woman. Out of that 75 percent,, 75 percent of them have not objective findings to back up their "complaints". You do the math. The severe migraine that's reading a magazine, The severe abdominal pain eating McDonalds, I could go on and on. This is not the exception but the rule.

      September 15, 2010 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  14. schmacka lacka

    Does this cause problems for future pregnancies? I could see that being a problem. Also, if it's not a problem, she should be able to brand his nuts...just the inside though, because it won't harm him, right?? 🙂

    September 14, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rodney

      Her uterus was removed so it's no longer in her body. It no longer belongs to her. I could understand if it was still in her body but it was removed.

      September 14, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Gazza

    If he did this to this patient I imagine there's going to be a flood of prior patients contacting Ambulance Chasers.

    September 14, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
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