This case takes place in Tennessee and involves a male patient who underwent an elective procedure performed by a plastic surgeon. Following the surgery, the patient began experiencing weakness, numbness and tingling in his right leg and hand. He continues to experience all these symptoms to date. It is believed that these symptoms are a result of ulnar nerve compression neuropathy caused by the misplacement of his right arm during surgery. As a result of the surgery, The patient also sustained herniation of the abdominal wall just above his navel. This herniation will require additional surgical intervention to repair. It is alleged that the treating plastic surgeon was negligent in his performance of the procedure.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. How often do you perform this procedure?
- 2. Can incorrect body positioning while under direct anesthesia cause ulnar nerve damage?
Expert Witness Response E-007960
I perform about 1-2 abdominoplasties per month and similar procedures called panniculectomies about 2-3 times per month. Nerve injury can be caused by positioning during surgery. If there is nursing documentation of some sort of issue or problem with that arm during the surgery then you may have a case. As for herniation, that is unfortunate. I would have to read the op-notes describing how the surgeon plicated to see if the did an adequate job. Now, if the abdominal wall itself has herniated, then that’s a bigger issue and could be due to an unrecognized injury to the abdominal wall during the case.
Expert Witness Response E-004533
Abdominoplasty is one of the most common procedures that I perform. I probably do about 30 of these procedures per year. It is possible for positioning to cause nerve compression.