A man is seeking damages after discovering that doctors did not remove his appendix during a surgery intended to do so last year. The man discovered that he still had his appendix despite having previously been treated for appendicitis when he experienced abdominal pain and had to go to the hospital again a year later.

According to hospital records the first surgery removed a “yellowish mass” from the man’s body. Hospital procedures required a later analysis of the mass taken from the man’s body, which was labeled “appendix”, and the hospital concluded that it was not in fact his appendix. However, the man was not notified of the mistake in any way.

Untreated appendicitis can cause the appendix itself to burst, causing widespread infection inside the body that can be very harmful to patients. Given that, it is easy to see why this surgical mistake matters and what was at stake for the patient who was not given the care he expected or the information he needed to react.

When surgical teams remove the wrong organ or fail to complete the operation for some reason, patients have a right to seek damages and hold the responsible parties accountable for their negligent actions. The hospital has not made a comment on this case except to say that it is investigating the matter. More information about what went wrong, why, and who was responsible for the error will be uncovered as a part of the discovery process during this medical malpractice litigation.

Source: LoHud.com, “Bronxville man sues Lawrence Hospital Center, doc after appendix 'mulligan',” Richard Liebson, April 10, 2014.