Cancer Survivor Sues After Surgical Fire

Wed, 03/31/2010 - 5:17am

An Oklahoma woman is suing her Tulsa surgeon after she was severely burned during breast reconstruction surgery last December. The woman had a double mastectomy two years earlier because of breast cancer, and felt this surgery would be her final step after being declared cancer free. 

When she woke up from surgery her face was covered in bandages. Reportedly, the surgeon used alcohol to swab the patient during the procedure, then utilized a cauterizing tool that sparked the fire, catching the surgical drapes and the patient’s face – melting the oxygen feeding tube and burning the inside of her mouth and her tongue. She still has trouble eating and drinking nearly four months later.

Doctors say the fire shouldn’t leave a scar and the recovery process will be similar to having a chemical peel. However, the patient’s face and lips are deformed and she says she still needs constant medical care, and likely more surgery. Her attorney tried to reach an agreement with the surgeon but when that didn't work, they filed suit.



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