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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Filed under: Courts • Health Care
soundoff (825 Responses)
  1. Jesse

    who cares. he didnt injure her.

    September 14, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • lacrosseson

      Actually, he did. "Paulicivic complained to Alinsod about burns to her leg that she suffered during the operation."

      September 14, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • KED

      This will likely settle before trial. There will be no way to prove that the use of cautery to "label" the uterus caused the burns on her legs, and the use of electrocautery during a hysterectomy is normal and the burns could've come from the normal use of cautery during the procedure. If the "branding" occurred post-removal, then all the more reason that the burns could not have come from this maneuver, as the organ would no longer conduct electrically to her body.

      The burden is effectively to prove either (1) direct bodily harm or (2) negligence. I think it will be difficult to prove bodily harm. Now while this is a completely insensitive action that he did, it was not negligent.

      The bigger stupidity on the physician's part is in not responding to the patient's questions. It is likely that simply picking up the phone and discussing the problem could have avoided litigation.

      September 14, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Raven*Lunatic

      As a female I honestly don't understand why anyone would be upset about this ??? For pete's sake it's not like anyone is planning on taking the organ home as a souvenir.

      As for trying to compare it to putting a brand / tattoo on an attached penis ...

      That's inane.

      September 14, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alexis Knight

      Im with you. Who cares?? Its medical waste.. it would be like branding a piece of crap.. what nonsense.

      September 14, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zebula

      Yeah, it's a little weird, maybe, but who cares. That is probably not what caused the burns. I second the poop analogy.

      September 14, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paindoc89

      Actually, for cautery to have been able to burn the name, there would have to be electrical continuity between the organ and the cautery grounding pad, placed elsewhere on the body. Thus the organ would have to have been in some way connected to the patient for this to have occurred. If this did not cause injury it certainly could have (as the electrical current used for this rather pointless act would have had to travel through the patient between the uterus and the grounding pad, creating the potential for injury.)

      September 14, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • JKale

      Doctors are expect to meet certain standards of ethics and this doctor did not. He acted in a very un-professional manner and inflected damage to cells that he did not have to inflict. The fact that he hesitated to give them the photos indicates he knew what he did was wrong.

      There was another case similar to this a while back where an OB/GYN carved his initials on some lady's stomach after doing a cesarean because he was proud of his work. It turns out he was practicing while suffering some form of dementia. He was deemed incompetent to continue working and lost his he should have.

      September 14, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • evoc

      Well, so what? She was throwing it away anyway.

      September 14, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mo

      seriously, who cares. The uterus was removed and eventually discarded. Just tryin to cash in.

      September 14, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • lawyers are very very bad

      what a bunch of idiots. This is what drives health care costs up in the states. (Being a physician(ER) myself) in order to successfully sue you need to :
      1. show harm was done.
      2. Show that you deviated from the standard of care
      3. Your actions/neglect directly caused the harm that occurred.
      plus California has litigation caps so this thankfully will get thrown out.
      there is no way they will win but will cost a lot of money to the physician and his law firm defending him, totally crazy really sad. people like this destroy health care in America and are running this country in the ground. They are very very very evil people. They(the patient) should have to pay every sent of the legal cost to defend the case if they loose. Just because the patient's life sucks(i.e has crappy life syndrome) doesn't mean she can make a quick buck off an MD because he has "money".

      September 14, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julibear

      the burns on the leg are one injury, but it sounds like those were discussed during the office visit; and perhaps grounds for an actual complaint. However, if he branded the organ after it was removed, seriously and truly, what does it matter? Its not in her body anymore, she does not possess it–it becomes medical waste, no? 'She didn't give consent' because probably the disposal of her organ was not discussed!

      September 14, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • donna

      @KED the burns could've come from the normal use of cautery during the procedure.

      Ah, but he didn't use the cautery in a normal way. Malpractice. He will lose his license over this. $$$

      September 14, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Claes

      She probably didn't consent to having the uterus put in that specific plastic bag or for that specific knife to be used and so on and so forth. Yes, it's mildly offensive to do what he did, but to act like it's a big deal is just ridiculous. I bet she was thrilled when she saw it thinking "wow, this will be a good lawsuit! Finally it happened to me: something that doesn't hurt me a bit but that sounds really bad!"

      September 14, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Billz

      I'm an OB/Gyn. Who knows what the burn (if real) is from – exceptionally rare from normal use of cautery. Unless there's a link of the burn to actual malpractice, while "sensational" to some in the public, it's not a valid lawsuit. What's the injury? Emotional? Crap, I'd be suing most of the customer service people I deal with on the phone.

      For all I know, he's practicing or demonstrating technique to a junior on removed tissue. If he had formed any word or object, or he had done a random pattern it would be no different – they would have claimed barbaric mutilation. Everyone go back to what you were doing before you read the article.

      September 14, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clyde

      Agreed – this had no affect on her health...just another California fool with their hand in someone else's pocket.

      September 14, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wolfen

      Jesse & Lawyersareverybad: She was injured. That's why she wanted the photos. She went in because of burns on her legs. There is harm. If the issue was just branding of the uterus after it was removed, it would be unlikely to go anywhere. MedMal is hard to pursue in California. We've already got the tort reform that Bush was trying for. Before you can sue, you must demonstrate harm and have a similar doctor's affidavit that the doctor failed to meet the standard of care. This is not a low hurdle.

      If the burns on the patient were because of this unnecessary branding, or other negligence related to the proper cauterization of the surgical site, then there is a case. Jumping all over this patient and this attorney when you don't know much about the case, simply based on a perceived (and largely false perception) excess of litigation is rather silly.

      September 14, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janet

      I would be curious if the branding was some form of secondary identification for future testing of the uterus as they may have been wanting to test for cancer cells. Plus it does not seem like a big enough issue to sue over. I can understand some people are more sensitive than others, but really are lawyers necessary??

      September 14, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • doctors are very very bad

      @lawyers are very very bad, i seriously hope you aren't actually a doctor if you can't tell the difference between "lose" and "loose". you really should not be calling others names if you can't form a coherent sentence.

      September 14, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • MrBo


      The engraving was done to the uterus AFTER it was removed. I don't know how THAT could have burned her leg. If she wants to sue about her leg burns, that's another story.

      September 14, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      I don't get it. If you were concerned about confusing one person's uterus with another's, wouldn't you label the container that the uterus is in? Also, why keep it in the first place?

      September 14, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jenny

      Sounds like the doc just has a big ego. So maybe he was happy about the surgery going well. No excuse for the branding but no grounds for a lawsuit.

      September 14, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      So frivolous. So, he put an identifying brand on an organ that was -removed- ... why does this matter?

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

      I do not understand why this doctor is being sued. Had the patient any expectation to ever see her uterus again? What difference does it make what method he used to label it? I admit it is odd to engrave her name in it but to be sued? Everybody is too busy trying to make a quick buck instead of actually working for it. I would love to see Judge Judy handle this case.

      September 14, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Actually, anytime an unecessary "procedure" is executed, you expose the patient to risk. For all we know, disrupting cells or tissues on the organ can expose the patient to infection at the site of injury. His action was cavalier and reckless.

      September 14, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • keepitsimple

      let someone brand you with the word 'jerk' on your forehead without your permisson and see if you are upset about it. Burns on the body is an injury whether one of the risks or not.

      September 14, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • jjadvocate

      ye he did. he burned her leg.

      September 14, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vix

      Honestly, the problem I would have with this as a patient is if she was kept under anesthesia that much longer for him to do this. Really though, if he had trouble keeping track of uteruses.. perhaps he should find another specialty.

      September 14, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • MC

      You would if it were you. Show some basic humanity.

      September 14, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Didn't he take the uterus out? Who cares if it was "branded" it is in the garbage isn't? Maybe she wanted to keep it in a jar the reneged? If there is a law suit out of this then it is just another example of why health care cost are so high! On a side note I think it would be sweet to be branded internally, maybe I'll name each kidney and brand them! Or on my stomach can I get "The Destroyer" in script branded. New form of body art...

      September 14, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Simon

      Way too many nursing school dropouts commenting here to have any sort of meaningful discussion. If you harm your patient either intentionally or due to negligence you are a bad doctor and need to be sued or prosecuted. Period.

      September 14, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Why are people saying it was branded after it was removed? The story really does not say that and if that is the case why would the brand show up on xrays? It would not. It was done while still in her body. BTW, it was her name he branded and not his as some people seem to think.

      Everyone wants to sue these days.

      September 14, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      There are two interesting things I was unaware of.
      One, that the hospital didn't have bags or other containers that are labeled with pathology specimens.
      Two, that the current standard of care in the US is to place a removed organ on the patient's leg to brand it via electrocautery.
      I'll have to keep that in mind should I or my family require surgery, so we can have it done in a properly equipped OR in a different country!
      Because it most certainly wasn't the standard of care during MY surgery rotation!

      September 14, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Noelle

      Burns to her legs..where inside or outside? But how? For one,cauterization device has on/off button for safety. Second, uterus is inside the stomach not inside the leg.

      September 14, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shelley

      I'm confused....what was the Dr. afraid he would get her uterus confused with others????... Why would anyone get someones uterus confused with others uterus's????? It's not like he was going to put it back inside of her, so it was an unecessary move.... that's just WEIRD to me. It just doesn't seem professional, besides the fact that he burnt her legs with the electrocautery device. Do other Dr's go around branding body parts of their patients?

      September 14, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      I don't see the problem. The organ was going to be disposed of. Hmmmm,.....

      September 14, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Honestly. I never reply to stories and really only read the comments for a laugh. But it never ceases to amaze me how people with no clue what they are talking about can voice their asinine opinions on everything.

      Just some absolutely ridiculous comments here.

      This Dr. doesn't have a uterus collection or some strange uterus fetish.

      I know exactly why he branded it. He essentially said it himself. "So it doesn't get mixed up"

      Any organ that is removed from the body, such as a uterus, is sent off to a pathologist to be tested for any further problems that may not have been previously known. For instance they could pick up that a patient had an early cancer that was not detectable previously. But once a core of this discarded uterus could be taken, it might then be seen under a microscope.

      One risk you have of course, it that the organ could become mislabeled or mixed up with another patient at some point once it has left the OR. But by "branding her name on it immediately after it was removed... you lessen the chance of Mary getting Ingrids bad news, and vice versa.

      This Dr was TRYING to be extra diligent to avoid medical errors, and this is the thanks he gets.


      September 14, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • jenfly

      @ Noelle
      Dear, the uterus is not in the stomach OR the leg...

      September 14, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Law

      @KED, @lawyers are very very very bad: The tort of battery (which is different from the tort of negligence – the common medical malpractice tort) can be alleged if a harmful or OFFENSIVE touching occurs, even if there is no physical injury to the victim. An offensive contact is one that is "offending a reasonable sense of personal dignity". This is clearly offensive to the victim, the question of law would be if a reasonable person would find that the doctor should have known this would be offensive. Harm is not required. The victim does not need to be aware of the touching as it occurs.

      September 14, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • jimmy

      wonder how hed like somone tatooing his wifes privte parts ... hes proulb already done it ... i bet hes done it alot .. there a whole lota women need checked out...

      September 14, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jared Clem

      Has this guy ever heard of a sharpie and sticky notes? i mean REALLY? How do you expect LOSE a uteris?

      September 14, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • SDMom22

      And this is in litigation, why? It was trash? Not a transplant. Sheesh! I had a splenectomy years ago and could care less if they fed it to seagulls. Jeez, people. Give me some real news.

      September 14, 2010 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • matt

      Who cares?

      September 14, 2010 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      No one will ever see it.. what's the big deal... Oh I forgot the big deal, they want free money and make insurance rates to increase.. I hope they lose this case !!!

      September 14, 2010 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      I suppose some would complain that their cancerous tumor was labeled after removal. Anything to get something for nothing. What a petty bunch of crap.

      September 14, 2010 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      I'm with you, she no longer needed it and im sure it was going to be destroyed anyways. People will sue for anything that's one reason I hate americans even though I am one.

      September 14, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Will

      Wait a second, the doctor is getting sued for inscribing the patients first name on a body part that the patient no longer has? Does this only not make sense to me?

      September 14, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      I agree, the uterus was being removed. And as a woman, I would not be offended at all, it's not like she keeping the damn thing as a souvenir. As he said, sometimes they DO label body parts for surgery. Again, this is someone out for a quick buck and all of us that pay for health insurance will suffer for it!

      September 14, 2010 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • dp

      This is exactly what drives up the cost of medical care. People suing doctors for ridiculous reasons. If this couple looses, which they should, they should be required to pay for all of the costs the doctor and his malpractice carrier incur to defend him. NO reasonable attorney should take a case like this. There is no harm, the uterus was going to the lab to be analyzed and he marked it with the patients name. Perhaps he always does this to insure that the correct patients specimen is identified. It is no different than marking the correct leg to be operated on prior to surgery. And the better question is WHY IS THIS MAKING ANY NATIONAL HEADLINES. CNN SHOULD BE EMBARRASSED THAT THEY HAVE THIS ON THEIR SITE!!

      September 14, 2010 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • herbaflor

      Who cares? How would you feel if it were you? It's not the end of the world, but it's invasive and unethical. I think you don't care about her is more like it. I'm sure you'd be singing a different tune if it was done to you!

      September 14, 2010 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      With your logic, Nicole, I care that more of my tax money is going to stupid things, therefore I should have the right to sue.

      One of top five biggest problems is frivolous lawsuits. Seriously, suing over that? I could have been rich by suing people for various things by now, but I think suing for stupid reasons is unethical as well.

      September 14, 2010 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dingus

      "They reacted like anyone would react – 'Oh my God we're about to get rich!'"

      September 15, 2010 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Liam

      Besides.... she had it removed. What? Was she planning on having it mounted? Turned into a throw pillow? What?

      September 15, 2010 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
    • EJ

      "Paulicivic complained to Alinsod about burns to her leg that she suffered during the operation,"

      September 15, 2010 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Sp

      The lady is nuts!
      WHY do you need pics of your removed uterus if you have a burn on your leg?!?!?! Has said uterus actually been physically inspected to see if that name is still on there [as in, maybe the pics had a label that had not been removed for the pics/xrays?]...?
      I had my tonsils removed once... I wonder if I should ask for pictures of those and sue if my name is on them...?

      September 15, 2010 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
    • DianD

      The woman did have some evidence of burns elsewhere. And what ever happened to labeling the tissue/organ inside a specimen container with a patient's sticker lablel or a sharpie? The doc knew he overstepped his practice boundary and for that reason he refused to show those pictures. Even if the uterine post op evidence doesn't add up to injury, he will have to respond to the pain and suffering claim, as well as possible action from the board of medicine.

      September 15, 2010 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Duckman

      @Joe. "why would the brand show up on xrays?" ROFL. a) It said photos, i.e. photos of the uterus after it had been removed. b) Can you seriously imagine him with a cauterizer up her hoo-har branding her name while its still in there?? c) There is no way branding on soft tissue will show up on an xray.

      September 15, 2010 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
    • S.Colbert

      I call it enviromentally sound labelling. It is going in the trash for Allah's sake. You gunna put it on display? Waaaa.

      September 15, 2010 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Justin

      This is actually fairly normal from what I've seen. Sometimes Doctors label organs that are being removed. It's a shame that she is wasting time and clogging up the court systems with this nonsense.

      September 15, 2010 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
    • DJ

      What a bunch of nonsense more people who enjoy something to be offended by. By the way Natalie you need to do a little research on what the word "sociopath" actually means. It is not a real diagnoses. If you are trying to actually accuse this
      physician of having a antisocial personality disorder this evidence certainly does not back that up. Please don't use words to shock people and try to emphasize a point when you don't understand their meaning. It may work when your commenting on Dancing with the stars but not in an actual educated debated.

      September 15, 2010 at 2:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Donna

      I agree. I am getting ready to have a complete hysterectomy secondary to ovarian cancer and honestly I could care less if they branded my uterus with my name.

      September 15, 2010 at 3:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      This guy has serious problems. Ok he starts by branding discarded organs, what's next? Creepy and weird. The same people who see nothing wrong with this are the same ones who would asked the question "Weren't there any signs of mental unstability?" when this guy really does something sick. Peforming weird acts on discarded female organs seems like a reason for a pschye eval to me. Also he lied about being close friends with her. Sounds llike he has issues. I wouldn't want him as a doctor.

      September 15, 2010 at 4:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      I'm pretty sure once you consent to have anything removed from your body, you abdicate most if not all rights to privacy and property as a result. The exceptions being the conditions under which the removal are under. I doubt this was covered in the consent form as a condition. The uterus was removed, after all.

      Oh, and simply caring is not a reason for legal recompense to be successful, it's a reason to pursue it and that's all.

      September 15, 2010 at 4:23 am | Report abuse |
    • BigJohn

      I usually brand my wife's uterus 2 or 3 times a week.

      September 15, 2010 at 5:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Poster Child

      Doesn't matter if branding the uterus wasn't the thing that caused burns to her legs. The whole thing is unnerving, and I would be totally creeped out if someone did that to one of my body parts, even if it had been removed. However, I would still question if he did this while it was still inside her body instead of post removal. What would have caused the burns on her legs?

      September 15, 2010 at 5:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Terri

      She cares!!!! The doctor had NO RIGHT to brand anything... the woman didnt go to an OBGYN to have anything branded.

      September 15, 2010 at 5:55 am | Report abuse |
    • 1L in NC

      Jesse, if she didn't consent and the action didn't prevent her from certain death, he had no right to do what he did. Literally, just covered this yesterday, It's nice to see law school apply to real life.

      September 15, 2010 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
    • fig

      if you actually READ THE ARTICLE, he DID injure her, moron. read it again. he burned her leg. that is not supposed to happen. guy is a loony.

      September 15, 2010 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
    • JG

      I'm sorry, but unless you're having the neighborhood over to tour your uterus, why do you even care? No one is ever going to see it without the aid of an xray machine.

      September 15, 2010 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Zee

      Oh, sheeesh..... who cares. I had a hysterectomy and for all I know, the med students were playing hacky sack with my uterus later that day. I couldn't care less. What he did is an issue for his clinic administrator to decide as to whether he followed his employer's pathology protocols. As for her burns, yes, that's worth asking about. But biohazard waste? this wasn't a deceased relative's remains.

      September 15, 2010 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
    • DB5987

      Sure she cares, but at what point do you stop paying attention to the insanity of other people? Was she going to ask for the uterus so she could keep it in a jar as a display piece over her fireplace, and this horrible doctor destroyed the artistic integrity of the organ?

      Any sane person would see something like this and go yeah, it's weird, but this is clearly another example of this sue-happy country gone crazy. With any luck the judge will throw this right on out of court.

      Unless you can prove to me this guy has been systematically doing this as some weird, perverted fetish or something, this is a complete non-story, its not like he delivered her baby and then branded it on the ass, the uterus was medical garbage once it was removed.

      September 15, 2010 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
    • tutuvabene

      I agree. I don't see the reason for the brohaha. It's medical waste. The patient would have a case if he carved on a uterus that was still in her. Hopefully, the judge will throw the case out.

      September 15, 2010 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      Who cares? What is the big deal. I think it is just another greedy person out to sue!

      September 15, 2010 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave D

      Give consent for what? It's an organ that was already removed from her body in an operation she gave consent for. At that point in time, it was nothing but a piece of meat. There's nothing to give consent for there, or to complain about for that matter.

      September 15, 2010 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • daygrl

      Jesse,a little simple minded aren't ya?
      Getting,basically,a tattoo during an operation wasn't discussed with the patient.It was done without her knowledge or consent.So,obviously,it is upsetting.

      September 15, 2010 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Tracy

      Jesse....I suggest you read the story again. Most here on the blog are missing the fact that she had burns to her leg and that is what she was asking about when they found her name burned into the uterus by viewing the pictures. Totally unprofessional of the Doc.

      September 15, 2010 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • AMS

      I totally agree with those who feel like this is ridiculous. It may be weird that he did this, but it seems like a frivolous law suit.

      September 15, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Ivette

      If the uterus was removed who cares? Trying to get money suing others

      September 15, 2010 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • lydiagirl

      Honestly, there are such larger issues out there and this is such a "NON-issue". He marked the uterus, undoubtedly to look more closely at it and be able to see what problems were there, and yes, you can get body parts mixed up in a surgical room, it happens all the time. I find this doctor's reluctance to share the photos with them a possible clue to the behaviour of the couple prior to filing a lawsuit. Perhaps they were a pain in the ass to begin with, and he sensed that.

      September 15, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Richard Dahmer

      So, if I etch your name insde your anus to not get confused and call you other names... you'll be ok with it?

      September 15, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Combatmedic

      All cautery devices do not require an electrode "doc". This act could most certainly be done afer the organ was removed.

      September 15, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • gale

      Another sue happy couple. I am female and I don't for a minute think this would scar me. It was taken out of her it was no longer a part of her body. We would praobably all be surprised at how things like this are handled by doctors. I guess this same woman wouldn't have complained if she had an abortion and the dr. marked the baby.

      September 15, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • matt

      Shake and Bake

      September 15, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      He took it out...she was throwing it away. ITS A HYSTERECTOMY! Its like the garbage man collecting your toenails. But seriously typically hospitals have a clause in that contract u sign on admission and pre ambulatory procedure that essentially says what we take out of your body belongs to get over it. The great Harvey Cushing, father of Neurosurgery collected patients brains and brain peices in jars that sat in the basement of Harkness Hall the Yale Med Dorm for decades. stuff happenz

      September 15, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • torrentialreign

      This is so stupid. The doctor is an idiot, thinking that it was a good idea to 'brand' the uterus. But this family is even more stupid for giving a darn. YOU HAD THE ORGAN REMOVED!!! It's medical waste! Throw the thing away.

      September 15, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Jean

      Yes, i agree... this lawsuit is frivolous and a waste of time. I understand if the uterus was branded and left inside her body then that's a different story. The couple needs to get on with their lives and stop damaging this doctor's name.

      September 15, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Zidar

      OMG. THIS HAPPENED TO ME! One time I was getting a pedicure and the technition cuts my toe nails off. And afterwards I found out she threw them in the trash. I was SO DEVISTATED. I never told her she could put them in the trash can! Those were my toe nails and I should have got to decide what happens to them once removed from my body. HAHAHAHHAHA LMFAO

      September 15, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Neuro

      @lawyers are very very bad – it's not nice to attack an entire profession. Doctors should respect attorneys because they need us, like we need them. (My wife, also a doctor, now understands :-)) The legal profession has changed significantly over the years and an attorney can actually get disbarred for taking on a case he or she knew or should have known is frivolous. In this case, if they're attorney took on their case knowing there's no real proof (pre- or post-discovery) to support the claim, say bye bye license to practice law – especially if the case was taken to generate publicity.

      September 15, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Camilo

      I think this is an abuse of our judicial system and incredible waste of time. For an attorney to see any merit in this case he or she should be disbarred.

      September 15, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • TX_Kelly

      I do not see a reason for litagation, however, why did he burn her name into the removed organ? He stated so that he "did not want to get it confused with others." What is that suppose to mean? He kept the removed organs? Since it is "medical waste" there should not be a concern of 'confusing with others'! Perhaps this is the reason for the litigation!

      September 15, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • TX_Kelly

      I do not see a reason for litigation, however, why did he burn her name into the removed organ? He stated so that he "did not want to get it confused with others." What is that suppose to mean? He kept the removed organs? Since it is "medical waste" there should not be a concern of 'confusing with others'! Perhaps this is the reason for the litigation!

      September 15, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristy Howard-Clark

      You not a female and you are not a doctor. What this doctor did is illegal. He is not allowed to do anything to a patient that was not agreed to in writing before the operation. Besides that, the fact that she complained about the burns indicates that she was indeed harmed by this idiot doctor's prank. If a doctor can't keep body parts organized without doing this then he does not deserve to be a doctor. Doctors vow to do no harm. He harmed her.

      September 15, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • kate

      you are a silly man jesse

      September 15, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anthony

      WHO CARES??? There are only 3 people who might see it. The doctor who did it, the lady who it happened to and her husband. The doctor already knows, and the other two are the only two people who will EVER be affected by it! Lady, for goodness sake, QUIT BEING A CRYBABY! Lawsuits like this are exactly the reason why doctors charge so much! I hope the judge finds you in contempt of court for suing for something that's so ridiculous!

      September 15, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • texaschick9

      I agree that the suit is stupid, but keep this in mind: It's illegal to mutilate a corpse. This is pretty much the same thing. And a person who would do something like that knowing it's being captured on film is a dangerous narcissist. He doesn't need to be sued, he needs to be committed.

      September 15, 2010 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • GeorgeBos95

      Burning her uterus (never mind her legs) isn't an injury?

      Dumb as a stump comes to mind.

      September 16, 2010 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Doctor B

      I haven't read all of the replies (tl;dr), so forgive me if this has been mentioned, but I wanted to bring up the real reason for "branding" the uterus. When any tissue is removed from the body, it is sent to pathology for analysis. In order to do this properly, the tissue has to be labeled or marked on 2 surfaces or in 2 directions, in order to allow the pathologist to know how the tissue was oriented in the body prior to removal. Typically, this is done with the cautery knife, since it's already in the doctors hands. By actually writing a word (or random letters, or numbers, or a symbol with an obvious right vs left side), you give the needed 2 points to orient the tissue. This is so the pathologist can tell a surgeon where to go back and operate if cancer is detected on the outer surface of the tissue sample. Now, using the patient's name is probably in poor taste, but other doctors have been sued for using other labeling methods.

      September 16, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • mouser

      This patient suffered a burn because the patient return electrode of the electrocautery device was not the right size or not applied correctly. These can be quite serious, disfiguring burns. This injury can and should be prevented during surgery, and she deserves compensation for it's having occurred. It didn't happen because of the 'branding' action- it was a separate thing.

      As for the removed uterus being 'branded', this sort falls under the category of what is the expected professional conduct of doctors. It was removed tissue, not connected to the patient anymore, yet there are supposed to be codes of conduct that prevent disrespectful or upsetting things being done with the body parts removed during surgery. I think we all assume that items we have removed during surgery, when we are after all unconcious and trusting that the right thing will be done, are sent to pathology or disposed of in a more or less dignified manner. Otherwise, what is there to prevent surgeons from playing catch with tissues or putting googly eyes on removed organs and posting pictures to facebook? It would be kind of horrifying to most people and most surgeons would never dream of doing stuff like that.

      This surgeon was sort of stepping into that territory by doing something rather weird and inappropriate to a piece of removed tissue. The hospital certainly has the usual pathology bags, containers and labels, and there are well understood means of keeping people's tissue samples separate that do not involve doing something kind of disturbing like this. One wonders what other boundaries this doctor has overstepped.

      He probably needs to be reprimanded and placed under observation for awhile, and possibly sent to a class on ethical conduct, but I am not sure this exactly is malpractice. I think most people would agree, though, they would rather not think things like this go on in the operating room.

      September 16, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • What??

      Wow. I just read through all these posts. At first out of outrage for the poorly written story and because bottom line suing this doc is frivilous. But as I read on it was more out of morbid interest at the 'interesting' posts of conjecture. The burns on the leg cannot be discussed here bec in no way do we know where on the leg the burns are. They can be from tape, cautery/bovie grounding tape/strap or from straps (like a rug burn) or from the cautery device. In order for the doc to burn the leg with the cautery it would have had to been a simple "slip" with a small burn. Not really likely in this procedure BUT possible. What is scary is how many of these posts really show that us physicians (yep, I am a doc) are at a constant threat of frivilous litigation and the mindset of many of you (who responded) is that docs are the enemy. Now, what this doc did was stupid/bad judgment bec no one really needs to mark a uterus like that post-op. Heck, might even prevent an ID issue inpathology as someone mentioned. But to be sued for it? That is ultimate stupid and the lawyers doing the suing should pay for everything...Man... there are some REALLY dumb responses in this thread...Bottome line: A very poorly written story and the doc will be the one who suffers the most.

      September 16, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • AP

      its the stupid united states..sue everyone! im surprised they didnt go after his dogs and cats

      September 16, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trish

      Seriouslly, this is ridiculous!!!! Who cares! The uterus was going to be discarded. He did not put his name, he put hers!!! Why is this so bad? He didnt 'brand' her, he put HER name on HER uterus. Please....and it was OUT of her exactly did this harm her???? The burns on her leg were probably just from the tape used to hold the foley catheter in place for the surgery and after. Some people react that way...this is not negligence, it is just LIFE!! And people wonder why doctors have to charge high fees (which they rarely get paid)...because they have to spend so much on medical malpractice insurance to protect themselves from idiocy like this!

      September 19, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • rh

      It's two things – one is that permission was not given, and two, yes it is an injury. Any time harm, at all, is done to someone, whether it be a "little electrocautery", there is potential for infection, scarring, or improper healing.

      It's not like he wrote her name on her belly with a permanent marker...

      September 20, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • katesurg

      I so agree! WHO CARES! this is the type of stuff that makes potential doctors shy away from even trying to do it. She isnt in fertile years anyway....She will never use that for anything other than carry it around with her. I wonder if she has even considered that.........

      September 21, 2010 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Christine

      I am recovering from major surgery from Dr. Alinsod and I could not have been in better hands from start to finish. He and his staff listened and cared for me in a completely professional manner. This lawsuit is frivoulous, slanderous and is for the sole purpose of extortion. I hope Dr. Alinsod counter-sues to prevent others from using this method for financial gain and to maintain his good name.
      This woman's uterus was MEDICAL WASTE !!!! It may even be determined that this small lesion could have been there prior to surgery. Has anyone asked this woman who treated and paid for the care of this lesion even though the cause was not determined??? And why wait so long to sue?? Perhaps she was searching for the right ambulance chaser!! (LOL) Shameful behavior...........Get a life.

      October 9, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. denise

    Crude, very crude.

    September 14, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Connie Morrison

    this is simply nuts. No excuse.

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

    Um, he did it AFTER it was removed from her! While I think it's odd, what's the big deal?

    September 14, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      Exactly !! This is why the normal people of this country suffer and why the legal system is so screwed up!!!

      September 14, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maddmann3

      I totally agree "What's the big deal" , I had my colon removed and had the doctor branded my name on it (Before they discarded it.)and had photo proof I'd be like "Hell Yeah" I want copies. Although it's strange to brand an organ knowing it will be discarded.

      September 15, 2010 at 3:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. Aubrie

    So if he removed the uterus (hysterechtomy I'm assuming) how did she get burns on her leg? Did he brand it while it was still intact and inside her and THEN remove it? Why not do it after removal or at all for that matter... If he didn't want to get it confused, put it in a clearly labeled container!!! And just where exactly were the surgical nurses assisting him???? They didn't have a problem with this? LOTS of questions here....

    September 14, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • THX

      I'm guessing he took the uterus out and probably branded it in his hand, near or on her thigh where she noticed the burns.

      September 15, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trish

      I am betting one had nothing to do with the other. You use cautery all the time during surgery, and rarely does the patient suffer burns because of it. And yes, we cauterize things that are still inside someones body. I would guess the burns on her tlegs were from the tape used to hold the foley cath and had nothing to do with the cautery!

      September 19, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Gian

    Wait, it was removed from her. It wasn't as if he operated on her and wrote someone else's name and she now has this inside her. Plus it was her own name! Facilities discard these removed organs anyway. True, not the best idea but I'd buy his ID story

    September 14, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. sherrie

    They are opportunists. I believe there is more to the story

    September 14, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. LT

    What's the big deal! People sue for everything now a days. She's fine and no harm done! Get over it and move on.

    September 14, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. patricia

    Kind of strange! Is she sure that he doesn't have a crush on her?

    September 14, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Thom

    So what is the issue ..The guy maked a piece of dead tissue after surgery.... Sue Sue Sue ..... Good lord ..... It has to go to tissue storage later and perhaps was not a tasteful method .But it is not news .......So let's scream it from the mountain tops .... In a world where we gather around and stare at a pickled corpse in a funeral rite ... This upsets you

    September 14, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. tatiana

    this woman needs to get a life, she feels useless and pathetic after having her organ removed and now looking for ways to get noticed even in such disgusting manner!
    if an oran is removed , it's GARBAGE, it must have been otherwise she would have had it inside her stupid body!!! as if a patient complain that" ohhhhh they put my precious diseased oragan in the same garbage bag as a man's diseased prostate!!" ohhhhhhhhhhhh what a crime! it's garbage idiot! GARBAGE

    September 14, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Scott

    Ok so he did it after it was removed. I agree that's a bit odd but by no means a just cause to be sued! They're just looking for money. If I was in an accident and you had to remove my arm you could feed it to some lions for all I care. Nope, Nope, let's sue the doctor! stupid

    September 14, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Imam Ralph

    I can tell you from experience that unless she is willing to spend ten thousand dollars on lawyers she will never see the inside of the courtroom. Mine was calling witnesses from Germany that we had to fly over to interview, etc. So I took the low road and ruined his life, drove him from my town and got his license lifted. He's an EMT these days instead of MD. He should have gone to court, ha ha.

    September 14, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • HeyZeus

      So you ruined a Doctor's life due to your own frivolous lawsuit.. way to go nimrod, it isn't like we're getting better doctors, only worse ones because of people like you. Great Job. So next time you're gonna sue the fire department because they wouldn't get there on time, or the police because they bust you for speeding.
      Please run out and get a sign or better a tattoo saying "Please don't help me, I'm an idiot and I sue!"

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

      I hope you are satisfied ruining the career of that MD.You are a POS,a self-suffering dirtbag nut job.This is why our nation will eventually crumble because of people like you.

      September 15, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Christie N

      Imam Ralph – It breaks my heart that there are people like you that live in this country.... Gloating that you ruined someone's life. How can you even be happy about doing that? People like you are the reason we have the saying "keep your friends close and your enemies closer." You will get yours someday, what goes around ALWAYS comes back around so you better be careful and quit your gloating.

      September 15, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Julie OK

    If the uterus has been removed from her body...what does it matter what it looks like or what is done to it? Is she going to keep it as a trophy? If it was still intact, now I would feel completely different...that would be completely uncalled for. But now??? What does it matter?

    September 14, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shutterbug77

      Was HE going to keep it? Was he playing with a new medical instrument? I think there's more to the story.

      September 14, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dan L

    According to the article, this woman's uterus had been removed, presumably to be destroyed. While branding her removed uterus does sound odd, I can't imagine the basis of her lawsuit.

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