No one looks forward to having surgery. It doesn’t matter if it’s a routine procedure or a more complicated operation, there is always a risk that the patient will come out worse than when he or she went in. Or even worse, that the patient will die. In 2014, the Journal of Patient Safety asserted that between 210,000 and 440,000 patients annually are subjected to “preventable medical harm” in America. That means medical errors, such as botched surgeries, are now the third-leading cause of death in the United States. Check out some of these horrific stories of surgeons who operated on the wrong body part, didn’t have proper certification, or simply made gigantic mistakes.
This article will make you want to research your own doctor thoroughly if you ever need surgery.
A Needle & Other Items Were Left Inside The Patient
Dirk Schroeder, 74, had a life-saving operation in Germany to remove a tumor. After the procedure, he complained of terrible pain. When the nurse checked him out to find the source of his pain, she spotted a piece of gauze coming out of his wound. The medical team later determined that Schroeder’s body was filled with 16 different items, including a surgical mask, needle, and bandages. The doctors did not claim responsibility; in fact, they blamed Schroeder and said he ate the items. The surgeons absolutely refused to admit that they were at fault. You can imagine the lawsuit that happened after that little snafu.
Elective cosmetic surgery led the next man to a permanent facial disfigurement.
Patient Must Use A Straw To Breathe Out Of His Nose Following Surgery
A man named Vishal Thakkar went through a divorce and wanted to look good when he started dating again. He decided to get a nose job because he wanted symmetrical nostrils. Plastic surgeon Dr. Angelo Cuzalina performed the routine operation. Unfortunately, Thakkar had problems breathing after the procedure and had to go back to get it fixed. Cuzalina ended up being a horrible doctor. Thakkar wound up enduring 22 surgeries, and his nose was reconstructed with cartilage from his rib cage and ear. He is forced to have a straw in what is now just one nostril, to be able to breathe.
The next story is a nightmare to anyone who dislikes dental visits.
Man Comes Out Of Surgery Without Any Teeth
Christopher Crist, 21, went to Amazing Family Dental in Indianapolis to have three teeth removed. Prior to the procedure, his mouth was numbed so he wouldn’t feel any pain. For some reason, the surgeon removed the three teeth as well as every single tooth in his mouth. Crist, who is on the autism spectrum, had absolutely no idea what happened. He explained that he only wanted three teeth removed, and by the time they started yanking out more he was unable to communicate with them because he was too groggy. This is one communication error that is the stuff of nightmares.
This Man Had An Operation & Felt Every Incision
A West Virginia man named Sherman Sizemore experienced something terrible during surgery. It’s called “anesthesia awareness” and it only affects 0.1 to 0.2 percent of people who undergo anesthesia in the United States. While most people peacefully go to sleep when they are about to have an operation, Sherman felt every single incision that was made in his body. While he could feel the pain, he could not move or communicate. He was unable to tell the doctors or nurses that he was aware of every single thing they were doing. Sizemore took his own life following the surgery, and his family sued.
A Man Started Going To The Bathroom Out Of The Wrong Hole
A man named Joseph Swain had a condition called diverticulitis, and eventually part of his colon had to be removed to take care of the problem. First he had a colostomy, in which everything his body excreted went into a bag. The surgeons were then tasked with reconnecting his colon to his anus. Unfortunately, one of the surgeons made a huge mistake and reattached the anus to his bladder. That’s when Swain started pooping through his urethra. This was a horrifying incident, and the risk of infection was huge. It took doctors two weeks to fix the issue.
At least this problem was eventually solved. The next patient’s problem was not.
A Man’s Worst Nightmare Came True
Hurshell Ralls, 67, underwent surgery to have a cancerous tumor removed from his bladder. The good news: he was declared cancer-free following the procedure. The bad news: he no longer had a penis. During the operation, the surgeon decided to remove the appendage, in an effort to prevent the cancer from spreading. The doctor never let Hurshell or his wife know that this could be a possibility, so they never gave consent to it. He woke up to a nightmare. When they later tested Hurshell’s manhood, the tissue was found to be benign. So the man lost his most important body part for no reason.
Can you imagine receiving Super Glue or cement injections?
A Bad Butt Injection Using Cement
A fake doctor named Oneal Ron Morris plead guilty to manslaughter in 2017 after injecting multiple women with a deadly cocktail of Super Glue, cement, and Fix-a-Flat tire sealant to give them bigger rear ends. A 31-year-old woman named Shatarka Nuby was injected by Morris about 10 times between 2007 and 2010. She paid thousands of dollars for the procedures and eventually died. Nuby thought she was getting silicone injected into her behind, and unfortunately she paid the price for using an unlicensed doctor. Many of Morris’ other patients also got sick after they received the injections. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The next surgeon tried to pull a fast one over on his patient…
This Guy’s Wrong Testicle Was Removed
An unidentified man underwent surgery in Wiltshire, England, to have a cancerous testicle removed. Unfortunately, surgeons are not perfect, and the doctor on call removed the wrong testicle. To fix his mistake, the surgeon put the appendage on ice and contacted a plastic surgeon in hopes of reattaching it. Unfortunately, it was too late to fix the error. Plus, they still had to remove the cancerous testicle. Hoping that no one would notice, they sent the patient home. The man, however, realized exactly what happened and hired a lawyer to take them to court. The hospital apologized, but obviously that wasn’t enough.
Next: a childhood dream lost because of physician error.
A Boy Lost His Dream Of Becoming A Violinist
Sometimes doctors anonymously post about things that have affected them during their careers. While they expect death to be part of their job, some patients stick in the minds for a good reason. One surgical resident was focused on pediatrics. He had quite a bit of experience and performed many surgeries. Death was not uncommon; however, he was deeply affected after he botched an operation on a boy who was just eight years old. The doctor was operating on his ulnar (in the wrist) and wrote that he “accidentally caused damage on the nearby nerve. He lost about 20% of his sensory stimulus.” The kid wanted to be a violinist.
A Man With Cerebral Palsy Was Poisoned By The Food In His Stomach
A man with cerebral palsy needed a feeding tube. During surgery, the doctor perforated his bowel, but no one realized that the mistake occurred. Following the procedure, the man’s mother realized that her son was in pain, but he was non-verbal and had no way of expressing to people how he felt or if something was wrong. The mom then spotted feces coming out of the incision site. Soon doctors discovered his digested food was going back into his stomach and poisoning him, making him septic. He had to be airlifted to a hospital to fix the mistake.
The next hospital error is heartbreaking.
A Doctor Told The Wrong Family Their Infant Was Dying
During one surgeon’s residency he worked in pediatrics. One time he was working with two newborns. One was doing better and fighting to live. The other one was not so good and was just hours from death. The surgeon was responsible for telling the families about the status of their babies. He did so, but 15 minutes later he realized that he mixed up the parents. He had to go back to them and tell one set of parents that their child was going to be okay. But what was worse was telling the other parents that their infant was actually going to die.
Doctors are only human, as we’ll see next.
This Patient Died & The Doctor Took His Own Life
Doctors are amazing people. They do incredible things to save lives. However, they are also very tired and work long hours. In an anonymous post, a man noted how his parents were both nurses. They recalled how they knew a doctor who was in the middle of a 36-hour shift when a patient arrived with a punctured lung. The doctor was required to collapse the lung in order to repair it. Unfortunately, he collapsed the wrong lung. The patient died. Administrators ended up firing the sleep-deprived doctor, and he was so full of remorse that he killed himself.
Doctor Wanted To Saw Her Cheekbone
Transgender model Shauna Brooks got silicone injections and cheekbone surgery in Thailand and had horrible results. She explained during an episode of Botched: “I learned about facial feminization. I wanted to do it here in America and when I told the doctors I had silicone in my face, he was like, ‘No.’ That’s when I went to Thailand. The doctor said, ‘I will saw your cheekbone.'” That’s when the problems began. She noted: “As the year went on, this right cheek just would not stop [growing]. It think it’s too big. When I smile, I think it’s just too big.”
The next “doctor” ended up in jail for his crimes.
These Patients Died Of Anesthesia Overdoses & Embolism
Peter Normann thought he was a doctor because he received six hours of training for liposuction. But it takes more than just a few hours of research to be an expert in medicine. With a massage therapist as his assistant, Normann was responsible for the deaths of three people. Two of them died of anesthesia overdoses. The third patient had an embolism. The embolism was caused by the doctor, who re-injected the victim’s own fat into a vein. The fat then went into the lungs and killed the patient. It’s unclear why he decided to operate on these people. He was convicted on three counts of murder.
Famous Star Had Sinking Implants
Actress Tawny Kitaen was a 1980s pin-up, but she suffered later in life after a botched surgery involving breast implants. She explained why she decided to get them: “It must have been something inside myself when I wasn’t feeling secure enough about myself. I thought this will take care of the problem.” Unfortunately, she was given much larger implants that she requested, and the surgery went terribly wrong. She noted: “Within sixth months, the implants started slipping through the mesh. Now the implants are down to the bottom of my rib cage.” She sought help in summer 2017 to have them repaired.
Woman Can No Longer Close Her Eyes, Even When Sleeping
A woman from England named Dawn lost 56 pounds from gastric bypass surgery and decided to get an eyelid lift because they were drooping. Her body had improved, and she wanted her face to look fresh as well. A surgeon recommended she get both an upper and lower eyelid procedure, and Dawn agreed. Following the operation, she immediately knew something was wrong. Tears continually dripped down her face. And then she discovered that her eyes were staying open when she slept. She tried to sue the surgeon, but he denied being negligent and claimed to be bankrupt. Hopefully, Dawn’s botched procedure was reversed.
Holes In This Woman’s Tummy Would Not Heal
Katie Everswick, 28, had a full tummy tuck with a breast lift. Following the surgery, there was a problem with her stomach. She wrote online: “My incision started opening up. At first it started with a tiny hole, which was joined by another hole. Then another hole. Then the holes started getting bigger, until some of them grew into one big hole.” She consulted a wound specialist and finally healed after several months. But she had a big scar. Two years later, she had surgery to repair the scar, and it happened all over again. Her tummy is now flat, but she can’t show it off.
The next surgeon’s actions earned him the nickname “Dr. Death”
“Dr. Death” Paralyzed His Patients, Left Them In Crippling Pain
A neurosurgeon named Christopher Duntsch was called “Dr. Death” by the media after he operated on an elderly woman, leaving her crippled and in horrible pain. He was charged with aggravated assault in 2015 after two patients died and four others were left with crippling pain. One of his patients, Mary Efurd, was 74 during the surgery. She lost one-third of her blood and was unable to use her legs following the procedure. Another patient woke up from surgery paralyzed from the neck down. Another one’s throat was punctured, and she was only able to speak in a whisper after the procedure.
Surgeons Performed The Wrong Surgery
A woman named Regina Turner was scheduled to have a left-sided craniotomy bypass to stop her from having a series of mini-strokes, which affected her speech. She was mobile, cognizant and had the ability to take care for herself prior to surgery. While on the operating table, she was given a right-side bypass instead. The procedure damaged her nervous system. The mistake wasn’t caught in time, and they operated on her wrong side. Once they figured out their error, they did the correct procedure, but the damage was already done. She wound up with emotional problems, anxiety, disfigurement, and depression.
Even celebrities aren’t immune to botched surgeries.
Andy Warhol Died During Surgery
Andy Warhol had gallbladder surgery in 1987. Instead of recovering, he fell into a coma and died. While under the knife, he was given fluids to stay hydrated. Unfortunately, he was given twice as much as he needed. When authorities looked into his death, they discovered that Andy had been anemic when he was admitted. His body used up all the minerals it needed, and pressure from the fluid built up. This resulted in heart failure. Morphine was also being pumped into his body. Neither doctors nor nurses checked up on him, and an autopsy showed his lungs and trachea had completely filled up with fluid.