Stapling Patient's Rectum During Surgery Lands Doctor in a Lawsuit

by Rajashri on Sep 26 2008 3:47 PM

A Maryland doctor has been sued by a man for allegedly stapling his rectum shut during an operation, which caused him to go without defecating for 17 days.

Ronald Watkins, 64, of West Virginia, claims that the 2004 surgery Frederick County doctor Manuel Casiano carried out has left him with permanent bowel problems.

"The reason for suing Dr. Casiano is very simple: His rectum was stapled shut," quoted Julia Lodowski, who with attorney Emily Malarkey is representing Watkins and his wife, Brenda, as saying.

Lodowski told jurors in the U.S. District Court that Watkins often experienced "rectal discharge", and needed to wipe himself between 12 and 15 times a day.

Watkins also had to have four "unnecessary surgeries" because of Casiano's actions, Lodowski added.

Conrad Varner, the doctor's attorney, claimed that Watkins' bowels merely became "swollen shut" because of medical problems, not because of stapling.

The attorney insisted that Watkins' habitual smoking was one of the reasons for his bowel problems, because nicotine constricts blood vessels.

Watkins was operated on September 8, 2004, for a rectal tumour.

A graduate of New York School of Medicine who works at Frederick Memorial Hospital, Casiano has no record of any disciplinary actions, according to the Maryland Board of Physicians.

Watkins' lawsuit does not seek a specific amount of damages. The trial is expected to continue for four days.