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. daniel


    September 15, 2010 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
  2. shesstoopid

    Her husbands p*nis prolly did more damage to that uterus that the dr ever did. 😛

    September 15, 2010 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. renji1

    wow... the strange s*&^ people try and get away with...

    September 15, 2010 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  4. daniel

    the husband wants to sue also because he is emotionally distressed, i guess he has trouble doing the deed. he feels insecure about having some guy put her name on her uterus, it's a big fiasco now.

    September 15, 2010 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  5. Anonomouse

    It is amazing how many people want something for nothing. LISTING PEOPLE, YOU JUST WENT THROUGH A TRAUMATIC SURGERY. Clearly it has harsh affects to your psyche. Take time and heal, don't waste your time with stress and lawyers over nonsense garbage that makes no difference.

    September 15, 2010 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  6. Anonomouse

    Listen that is not listing...poor typing skills..poor

    September 15, 2010 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  7. Kim

    LOL at the sorry state of reading comprehension level of some of the commenters (not that the reporter did a great job either). People, it was marked *after* having been removed. Who cares? It's garbage at that point.

    September 15, 2010 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
  8. adam

    I think something should be done to the doctor. Maybe not a lawsuit but something along the lines of 90 day suspension and ethical training. Labeling the uterus in this manner even though it was being discarded is utterly wrong. Its like a banker writing down some personal information on a sheet of paper and throwing it away in the trash. Its all a piece of trash right?

    I find it odd to the need to engrave the uterus. I mean its not like there are multiple surgeries in the same OR. Specimen bags should have been clearly marked. I remember for my surgery that I had to personally inspect the 2 specimen bags to ensure that my name and DOB were clearly labeled on the bag. So again why the need to engrave.

    another way to look at this is if you passed away would you mind if somebody branded your body. Your dead would you mind?

    I think she has some valid concerns here though. Such as the doctor not responding to the patient after 90 days. Her name engraved on something that was her's. the doctor claiming the she was a "close friend" when it appears that she was not.

    So to sum it all up; The uterus was medical waste but there was no reason to engrave it, should she win a lawsuit I don't think so, but the doctor should be reviewed on ethical grounds.

    September 15, 2010 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Cheryl

      I agree Adam. Maybe not a lawsuit but suspension based primarily on unethical behavior. There is absolutely no reason to brand an organ, inside the body or out. Once the organ is removed, it is placed into a labeled container and sent for testing. This physician has some serious twisted, sick, psychological issues. I hope she wins the lawsuit.

      September 15, 2010 at 3:16 am | Report abuse |
  9. Saw "the smoking gun" website and stopped reading

    citing "the smoking gun" ... quality

    September 15, 2010 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. Nic

    I see two separate issues...firstly, this lawyer will have to prove the doctors "branding" caused her to get a leg burn, and secondly, why is she so appalled he did that to her uterus? Its not like it was going back inside of her. Would she have liked for him to have cleaned and made it look pretty before it went to the trash? c'mon, get real...unless she made preparations to take it home with her, she can't complain knowing it would have ended up being trashed or dissected into every little piece by nursing or med students, b/c you cant RECYCLE your uterus. I really dont see any difference. She was giving her organ up. And Im a female, but sorry Im not buying the sacrilegious connection to a uterus that obviously is no longer important to her body for reasons of cancer, not wanting more children, cystic fibrosis, etc.

    September 15, 2010 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
  11. jacob

    just like everyone else, if money wasnt an option, iit would of never started.

    September 15, 2010 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
  12. Tony

    As a pathology resident, I can assure anyone on this board that It is not unusual in any way to take pictures of tissues or organs before, during, and/or post removal. The branding is a little unusual, but not unheard of (have observed it several times). In the medical field we have all heard horror stories of pathology samples getting mixed up etc. This physician was more than likely just an EXTRA cautious guy. Probably the kind of person you would want operating on you.

    Burns on the leg: During any surgery special devices used to cauterize tissue are omnipresent. When doing surgery in close proximity to the genital area it wouldn't be out of the question to mistakenly touch the skin of the stomach or leg with one on these devises causing a burn.

    What a bunch of conspiracy minded boobs

    September 15, 2010 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  13. fogbug

    This is pretty common, surgeons love to leave little notes to each other on your organs

    September 15, 2010 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
  14. PD

    As a law student (albeit one who hated torts), I'm struggling to find a proper avenue for these people to recover damages

    September 15, 2010 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Fireblood

      Your struggling will be rewarded when you finally find a way.

      September 15, 2010 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
    • This N That

      What's the struggle and why do you hate torts? If the doc burned her by acting outside the standard of care, then you have liability. Duty, breach, causation, damages.

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

    Who cares? Its not like he branded it and its still in her. Everyone in America is so sue happy nowadays.

    September 15, 2010 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
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