Man Receives Settlement After Doctor Destroys Bladder

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DISCLAIMER: The results are specific to the facts and legal circumstances of each of the clients' cases and should not be used to form an expectation that the same results could be obtained for other clients in similar matters without reference to the specific factual and legal circumstances of each client's case.

Our client was struggling with symptoms of an enlarged prostate and was concerned about an elevated result on a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. He saw a doctor and was treated with medication, which controlled his symptoms for some time. However, after a few years, his symptoms appeared to worsen again. The doctor eventually ordered a holmium laser ablation of the prostate (HoLAP) procedure, which is a minimally invasive laser surgery meant to remove excess prostate tissue and alleviate symptoms. The procedure is often performed outpatient and generally offers a fast recovery. However, the patient did not know that something went terribly wrong.

Medical Complications Follow HoLAP Procedure

Immediately after the procedure, the client reported intense pain and remained in the hospital for an additional day. After his release, the client had continued problems with nausea and incontinence, prompting him to visit the emergency room a few weeks later. Treatment and catheter placement was tried over the course of several more weeks, but the client was still running a temperature and having trouble with leakage and feelings of urgency. Less than a month after the initial procedure, the client returned to the emergency room with pain and nausea and underwent a cystoscopy, a ureteroscopy, and stenting of both ureters. The procedure found massive sloughing of the bladder mucosa, which is the innermost lining of the bladder. In the months that followed, the client continued to struggle with urinary issues and bladder sloughing. He underwent several more cystoscopies and attempted treatments, suffering a bladder perforation in the process.

Eventually, the client saw a different doctor for a second opinion. This new doctor found that the client’s bladder had somehow been completely destroyed. As a result, the client underwent an ileal loop procedure, which diverts urine through a stoma on the abdomen and into an external pouch. The client, despite treatment, continues to have issues with leakage and managing medical appliances, making it difficult and embarrassing to travel or attend social events.

Doctor Unable to Explain What Went Wrong

When it was found that the bladder had been destroyed, the client’s original doctor was unable to explain what happened during the procedure to cause the damage. The doctor believed that the laser equipment had functioned properly and that the surgery went well. However, it was found that the doctor had never received formal training in HoLAP procedures. The training he did receive consisted of a presentation during a dinner sponsored by the manufacturer and a video on DVD.

Client Turns to Neblett, Beard & Arsenault for Help

The client needed answers about what happened to him and why. He turned to Attorney William Neblett for help, who began investigating his case immediately. Although the doctor attempted to blame several potential issues, including low irrigant flow during the procedure and potential thermal injury, it became clear that the doctor simply didn’t know why our client’s bladder was destroyed. No matter the reason for the outcome, we argued that the doctor was in charge of the client’s care while performing the procedure and should be responsible for the long-term complications that resulted.

To support our client’s claim of medical malpractice, we took depositions from the doctor, company representatives, and others involved in the case, and we brought in an expert on medical negligence. Ultimately, our client’s case resolved for a total of $481,000, which compensated him for his medical bills, ongoing medical needs, and the permanent damage done to his social and personal life.

The client needed answers to be able to move on with his life, and he needed financial help with the extensive medical bills that resulted from the surgical mistake. Taking legal action was the client’s only chance to find out what really happened and get the compensation he needed. Attorney William Neblett was unwilling to give up, even when it became clear that there might never be answers about what really happened, and left no stone unturned in order to get a good result for our client. He believed in the case, and he was instrumental in helping this client and his family move on after suffering from life-changing medical negligence.

Do you have questions about an injury you or a family member suffered after a medical procedure? You are not alone. Thousands of people in the United States die or are hurt by medical mistakes each year, and they don’t always know their rights or how to get answers. If you need help, we encourage you to contact Neblett, Beard & Arsenault for a free case review with our experienced attorneys.


William S. Neblett
Attorney William Neblett practices personal injury, maritme, medical malpractice and nursing home abuse law.