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.

Post by:
Filed under: Courts • Health Care
soundoff (825 Responses)
  1. Bruce, MD

    "Branding" of a patient organ using the electrocautery requires that it be done while it is still in the patient's body. This exposes the patient to the risk of electrocautery malfunction, burns, and fire to complete a task that is not in the patient's interest since the labeling of pathology specimens is not appropriately handled in this way, is not accepted practice, and is below standard of care. This physician should be suspended from practice until a neuro-psych evaluation can be completed under the authority of the Medical Board. For all of you that are willing to nonsense this, rage about lawyers and greedy patients: shame on you.

    September 14, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • anti-frivolous

      you're full of it Bruce. It is absolutely not true that branding the uterus requires that it be in the patient when the branding is done. Are you serious. Guess what – I've been operating for 30 years and I can tell you that one can cauterize a removed organ and leave a mark just as easily as it can be cauterized while still attached to the patient. Give me a break.

      September 14, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. B-Dog

    The people who care about what happens to their medical waste are USUALLY the people that are not donors. This case will be thrown out.

    September 14, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Justin

    Point blank...the doctor created scare tissue/destroyed organ surface area. It's nuts!!!!! It speaks volumes on his clear mental illness. Now she will fear cancers developing in that region of her body for life.

    September 14, 2010 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jenn

      The uterus was removed from her body--

      September 14, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • anti-frivolous

      you really have no clue Justin

      September 14, 2010 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fireblood

      Justin, your comments are ridiculous. Your concept of what the medical procedure was about is wrong, and your claim of what the woman will feel for life are totally unsubstantiated.

      September 15, 2010 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
  4. Andrea PC

    What was she going to do with her uterus when the doc took it out anyway? Eat it? Plant it? Who cares?

    September 14, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. kim

    Really this is the most dumbest thing I have ever heard of... Obviously you didn't have any use for it anyways if you had your uterus removed. But, let's make a big deal about it... Your going to be okay its a little something called post pardom depression hunny.. Its not like you were harmed in anway. The docto didn't hurt you... And seriously what's the real story cause I'm not buying this story for nothin. There is more to it than what is being said!!! But, like I said stop wanting to get your name out in the media and move on wiyth your life!!!

    September 14, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. steve

    Its unusual and eccentric, but of no consequence, and caused no harm to the patient. As far as labeling it so its not confused with other uteri, while this is not typical, would not necessarily be a bad idea as long as it does not interfere with the gross inspection and histologic examination of the tissue. In other words, another patient looking to cash in on something silly, if eccentric. Honestly, who cares????

    September 14, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jenn

    There is medication that is available for her after having said uterus removed that will help her deal with the emotional trauma of not having a uterus anymore. I seriously doubt that the lawsuit will maker her feel better. It sounds as though they were fishing for something to sue over from the beginning. Ah how lawsuit happy America is.... and people wonder by healthcare costs are out of control, the next time your office or Rx co-pay goes up again, thank people like her.

    September 14, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mnsunnie

    It not like it is still inside her with graffitti "Red waz here!", it is just a label, medical waste.

    September 14, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Buddha

    The guy was removing her Uterus......Its not like he was just removing a cyst and branded the name in for fun before sewing her up. She was having the organ removed and at that point it was already gone, if I have my testicle removed and the doctor has it made into a Key Ring IT DOESNT CONCERN ME ANYMORE, Its not a part of my body so I say go right ahead. This women should be happy the doctor performed a procedure that helped her medically the fact that he marked the REMOVED Uterus is pointless

    September 14, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jim

    Can we say FRIVOLOUS? Give me a break. Did she want the uterus back? Did it go in the trash? Who cares. This is ridiculous. Their reaction was fabricated. Their real reaction was ca-ching.

    September 14, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mfb

    another doctor with a weird fetish...would hate to see what he keeps in his basement...

    September 14, 2010 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. John

    this piece of writing s lighter then popcorn, badly researched and kudos cnn! Hopefully people will recognize this "article" as a blog and not actual news.

    September 14, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Not an OB/GYN but an MD

    Poor form, low class, but not exactly malpractice. Doubt this will result in compensation to the patient, as she would have to prove harm from the graffiti act, but likely that the Medical Board of California will issue a public reprimand.

    September 14, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • anti-frivolous

      how is it graffiti? We label or mark specimens removed ALL THE TIME for identification and orientation purposes for the pathologist. Do you consider that graffiti also?

      September 14, 2010 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • This N That

      You forgot about the burns he left on her leg.

      September 14, 2010 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. John B

    Ahh hell NOoooo I'm not going to be seen anywhere with a woman with another man's name on her womb.

    September 14, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      It's not INSIDE her. It's in a freakin bag to be thrown away.

      September 14, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. brown

    These types of lawsuits drive health care costs up for everyone. This woman was not "injured" until she viewed the images.

    September 14, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35