Patient: Dr. Skipped Hernia Repair Then Said He Couldn't Find It
7-29-2013 23:58:00

DENVER, Colo. (CN) - A doctor failed to properly locate and repair a hernia that has caused a woman severe nerve and tissue damage, she claims in federal court.

Vanessa Hayes-Quintana was diagnosed with hiatal, umbilical and inguinal hernias and was told by her physician she would need surgery to repair them. Due to scheduling conflicts, Quintana’s surgery was performed by Dr. Andrew Weinfeld, a doctor she didn’t know.

On June 20, 2011, Quintana waited in the surgical waiting area for three hours before she was taken to the pre-op room where Weinfeld finally appeared and made a quick examination.

“The surgical scheduling that day ran behind, and the medical personnel plaintiff was able to observe appeared to be performing their responsibilities in a hurried manner. Plaintiff was the last person remaining in the surgical waiting area, and several excuses and apologies were made throughout the course of the time plaintiff was present regarding their inability to perform her surgery earlier. Near the end of the afternoon, plaintiff overheard a male voice state, ‘Okay, let’s go get this done.’”

Quintana felt extreme pain in her groin after the surgery and was bedridden for about a week. Her husband carried her to the bathroom so she could relieve herself, she said.

Two of her hernias healed up, but the inguinal was still visible, according to the complaint.

During a follow-up visit, Weinfeld said that he “never found the hernia” and suggested that she “may have sustained a reinjury."

Quintana, however, said the hernia was always there and was never fixed during the surgery.

As a result, “the plaintiff’s inguinal hernia remains visible, has caused both severe nerve and tissue injury, persistent and, at times, debilitating pain, numbness and discomfort, is cosmetically displeasing and disfiguring and continues to impair plaintiff’s daily functions, requiring further corrective surgery,” the complaint states.

Quintana is suing for negligence.

William J. Brady, of Spencer Fane & Grimshaw in Denver, represents the plaintiff.