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Seattle Scott
Seattle Scott, Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 961
Experience:  I have 25 years experience as a Washington State Personal Injury Attorney
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Hello, Attny Scott, About 1 a d!/@ yrs ago I had a radical

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Hello, Attny Scott,
About 1 a d!/@ yrs ago I had a radical hysterectomy for invasive cervical ca- with excellent results. The issue is that I believe the operation could have been avoided if I had appropriate follow-up of pap smears which were intermittently abnormal for about 11 years previously, and seriously abnormal 2 years before surgery. At that time an additional procedure (biopsy and curetting was done) and the result was insufficient for diagnosis. I was informed by phone that it was negative and based on this did not return for a follow-up 3 months later. When my PC realized about 18 months ago that I had had an abnormal result 2 years earlier, he ordered follow-up ( normal protocol would have required 3-6 month follow-up) which after a couple of procedures showed invasive ca requiring hysterectomy. I went to an attny who got an expert opinion which I believe minimized the situation- no significant negative effect from the delay. I disagree- I am a physician and feel there was negligence. Any suggestions for further action? (P.S. I suspect the attny does not see a significant enough settlement to proceed with the case) Any pro-bono lawyers available? I expect them to get 30% of any settlement. Many thanks, M.M.
When you were informed by phone that the test result was negative- was that correct information?

Do you have a greater expertise that the "expert" that was hired?

Could you clarify when the surgery occurred?

When did you first believe that the surgery could have been avoided?

Was all your relevant medical care received in Mass?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, I don't know if you are on-line now, but the answer to your question is that the biopsy/curretage was insufficient for diagnosis so it was unknown if it was positive or negative. The usual next step is to repeat the procedure in order to get an adequate sample. Although an appt was scheduled for me in 3 month after this, because I was told it was negative- I cancelled the appt. I was not contacted again and no further appt was made for me until my PC noticed in my chart that I had not had a follow-up appt- this was 2 years later. I never received any written reports of any of my pap test results until I made a copy of the chart after my hysterectomy, and since then the hospital has been better at sending results. I did not know I had any significant abnormality until 1 and half years ago, right before the hysterectomy. Of course I expect the hospital to dispute this but there is nothing in the chart to prove they informed me. I hope this helps. B.M.M.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I was informed by phone about the negative test about 2 weeks after the procedure which was done 2/15/10.
Re expertise: I had several years training in pathology and praciced it for a few years-I read cervical and other biopsies. I have done a little reaearch on treatment on my own.

surgery was done for hysterectomy on 4/20/12. I had a cone biopsy one month prior. (positive for ca)

I did not know the 2/15/10 procedure was inadequate for diagnosid until I got a copy of the chart after surgery- I also did not know of the other abnormal paps.I believe major surgery could possibly have been avoided if a cone bx had been done 2 years earlier and almost definitely if done after the earlier anbormal paps. However- ca progresses at different rates in different people so no-one can be definite.

All care done in Mass.

You know more about medicine and pathology than I do, but you are going to need to get a supporting expert opinion, as a first step. Massachusetts has created a gatekeeper that you must get pass before you can sue for malpractice. You will have to present your claim to a Board and prove there is a legitimate question of liability, otherwise you have to post a $6,000 bond when you file the court suit.

See the statute set out at this link

Also know that the statue of limitations is 3 years from the time you should have known or did know of the negligence. So I would count the three years from the time you got your chart after surgery.
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