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How bad can a five minute urology procedure be? Well, you’re about to find out.

How bad can a five minute urology procedure be? Well, you’re about to find out.

This is a real life incident that happened in New York. A man in his 30’s who was facing problems urinating went to his doctor for some help. The doctor – a trained urologist no less – told him that he had abnormal scar tissue in his urethra which was the source of all the pain. The only way to solve this was to conduct an ‘urethrotomy’; a surgery in which the urethra is cut open and the scar tissue is removed. The procedure is pretty de rigueur or regular but the only problem is that it does not guarantee that the scar tissue will not come back. And as it so happened in this man’s case, the scar tissue returned some weeks later.

Pain has returned

Three weeks later, this young man was back in the doctor’s office and the same procedure was performed again. But since a urethrotomy is only a band-aid procedure that does not completely eradicate the cause of scar tissue formation, the problem returned again. This time, the urologist suggested that he perform a surgery to place a device called a ‘stent’ in the patient’s penis.

Made of cold steel mesh, a stent works well in older men who can no longer hold an erection. But for a young healthy 30 year old male, this was the absolute wrong treatment. After four weeks the patient went back to his doctor in tremendous pain from the stent, and the doctor decided to remove the stent and replace them with new ones.

A tragedy of errors

Now, here’s the important thing-wire mesh stents like these cannot be moved once they have been placed and the skin has grown over them. You would think a trained urologist would know this! But instead, this particular doctor decided to go ahead anyway and manipulate the stent in his patient’s penis. In the process, he ended up destroying the inside of the man’s urethra. And instead of allowing the urethra to heal, he placed two new stents in his patient’s penis even though the previous one had caused so much damage.

The result was unbearable torture. The pain resulting from the botched surgery was so much that this man, who had so far been in the prime of his health, even thought of committing suicide.

Borderline clueless

After a year and more of reconstructive surgery, and several more months of litigation, the man was finally healed and given the compensation he deserved. His initial condition could have been treated with a simple two hour reconstructive surgery, but his urologist’s negligence and lack of knowledge resulted in him undergoing several surgeries and a long recovery period filled with physical and emotional pain.

Stay alert! One can’t stress that enough

Sometimes, ill-informed doctors can mess up a simple surgery so bad that it can take years for you, the patient, to get well again. We normally do not think much of such simple surgeries, but it is up to us to be aware of the pitfalls of blindly trusting our doctors. They aren’t Gods; they make mistakes as well. And if you aren’t cautious, you can be the one paying the price for their actions.