U.S. News


Man sues hospital; claims wrong organ was removed during surgery

The surgeon who conducted the supposed mishandled appendectomy reportedly didn't address the issue until eight days after the surgery.
George and Betsy Piano before George had his surgery.
Posted at 4:36 PM, Nov 08, 2023

A man is suing a hospital and two surgeons for medical malpractice after he went to the emergency room for appendicitis and ended up having part of his colon removed.

Earlier this month, George Piano and his wife took legal action against the University of Washington, along with surgeons Nidhi Udyavar and Paul Herman. This lawsuit is in response to an alleged botched appendectomy procedure Piano underwent in December 2022 at the University of Washington Medical Center Northwest in Seattle.

Udyavar, as the attending physician, had the responsibility to oversee the training surgeon, Herman, but according to a press release by Edward Moore, one of the attorneys representing Piano, the surgeons were unable to find Piano's appendix, and instead they mistakenly removed a piece of diverticulitis on his lower colon.

“Following surgery, Mr. Piano began to experience abdominal pain which was worse than before his surgery. The bowel contents began to spill into his abdominal cavity, causing him to become much sicker,” said Moore. “The doctors had to install an ileostomy bag where Mr. Piano's intestine protruded from the abdomen so that all waste would be expelled into the bag.”

Piano told KIRO 7 news that the leakage resulted in sepsis, a life-threatening condition, and the surgeon who conducted the supposed mishandled appendectomy didn't address the issue until eight days after the surgery.

“I feel very lucky that I’m still alive,” Piano told the news outlet. “We didn’t want it to happen to someone else. Someone needed to put a stop to this and take responsibility, and say this happened; we need to take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Since the Dec. 6, 2022, surgery, Piano has faced various new medical issues, leading to four more surgeries, multiple hospital stays, an infection from the initial surgery, delayed cancer treatment, severe pain, a long-unhealed abdominal wound, and a need for frequent home health care and nursing visits to manage his condition.

A spokesperson for UW Medicine would not comment on the pending lawsuit.