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. OhioPaul

    If she looks at the small print on her medical release forms, it would clearly say that the procedure carried risk of injury or even death and that any and all of the medical waste is property of the hospital or surgery center. It sounds like she is doing fine and the only complaint is that she has burns, which could happen to any patient undergoing this procedure since cauterizing is routinely used to stop bleeding during surgery. If she wouldn't have called a lawyer, no one would have known about this 'embarrassing' situation. She brought the attention upon herself. It was strange he didn't use another method of IDing the body part, but Ingrid and her husband should be thanking him for keeping her alive, especially if the uterus was cancerous. They don't remove healthy ograns and it sounds like she will recover completely from this procedure. Get over it.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jake

    Thomas, you are a genius. Great Billy Madison quote haha

    September 15, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  3. Phil

    Shocking that one of the comment come from a ER doctor who claims the paitent is the cause for all the problems in the health care business.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dadsnorz

    If I were the Doctor and knew I'd be sued, I would have branded something worth going to court over.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  5. Really

    I really don't understand how some of you women are okay with this. If you read the story he carved her name while it was inside her!!! If he took it out and then did it fine, but no he did it during the operation. Honestly I would find it disgusting if someone took the time to write any name on my female organ part while it was still inside me. Guess I'm just different.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  6. marianewyork

    Sorry Ingrid, you paid someone to remove it. Once removed it no longer belongs you. It becomes medical waste. Fact.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. Phil

    How is it that a doctor can legibly write on a human organ, but they are incapable of legibly writting on paper.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • My Opinion Only

      Good one!

      September 16, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jake

    If you read the story "Really" it never mentions that he branded the uterus while it was still inside her.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  9. Parrottdad

    I know women that carry photos of their removed uterus in their purse. I'm sure they would find it humorous to have their name on it. It's out, It's not going back in, you are done with it, get over it! SHESH!

    September 15, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. MM


    September 15, 2010 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  11. MM


    September 15, 2010 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  12. Robert

    It was this article should be.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  13. whatfaith

    The news article is written to mislead the reader by avoidng to mention that the body part were to have been discarded. Any one who would receive the trash canwrite anything on it (or eat it for that matter) including the person (doctor) who makes the trash! CNN, shame on the cheap attention grabber on your website!

    September 15, 2010 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  14. James

    In the grand scheme of life, why does this matter at all?
    Brand all my organs, so what? I can't see them.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. JTartan

    If he was doing this for ID purposes, he should have used the hospital ID number and last name. Two patient identifiers is the standard. Litigation is perhaps not indicated, but a complaint to the licensing board is.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
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