A married couple from Montana is suing the wife's physicians, the Pope Paul VI Institute and Creighton University Medical Center, saying a surgical glove was left inside her abdomen after a surgical procedure at the Creighton hospital.
Darin and Syndi Miske of Wibaux, Mont., are seeking $1.75 million and a jury trial in the case.
The complaint says Syndi Miske underwent unnecessary medical procedures, including a hysterectomy, causing additional expenses and “unnecessary pain, discomfort, fear and dread which will continue in the future.”
None of those named as defendants in the suit would comment on the case.
According to the complaint filed late last week in U.S. District Court in Nebraska:
Syndi Miske, now 38, went to Omaha's Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction, seeking help to become pregnant, in November 2011. After Miske provided her health and surgical histories, she was examined and doctors performed biopsies and cultures. She underwent a six-hour surgery at Creighton University Medical Center on Dec. 30, 2011, that she was told would promote increased fertility. The surgery included the removal of endometrial tissue and adhesions.
The procedure was performed by Dr. Kristina Pakiz, Dr. Kathryn Karges and Dr. Christine Cimo Hemphill, with the assistance of nurses, technicians and staff.
The three physicians were associated with the institute and Creighton at the time. Pakiz still is; Karges now practices in Texas, and Cimo Hemphill practices in Virginia.
After the surgery, the complaint says, Miske stayed at Creighton for three nights and “began suffering significant hot flashes, night sweats, and bloating, pain and discomfort in her abdomen.” She was told that these were common postsurgical problems.
On Nov. 8, 2012, the lawsuit says, Pakiz ordered a pelvic ultrasound because Miske had not become pregnant, had continued to experience pain and discomfort in her abdomen, and needed to take progesterone shots to induce menstruation. At that time, a radiologist noted the presence of what appeared to be a large cyst. Pakiz instructed Miske to take progesterone in order to treat the apparent cyst.
Pakiz then told Miske that what was thought to be a cyst was not gynecological and told her to seek treatment in Montana, according to the complaint.
In December 2012, another physician told Miske that the apparent cyst resembled ovarian cancer, and Miske was referred to a cancer specialist, the suit says. Miske then was told that she was suffering from premature ovarian failure probably related to the apparent cyst and was prescribed birth control pills to control her menopausal symptoms.
Miske continued to experience abdominal pain. She underwent a hysterectomy on Sept. 4, 2013, because the apparent cyst was judged to be too large to remove laparoscopically, the complaint says.
During the surgery, a surgical glove containing about 10 ounces of clear fluid was found to have been left inside her abdominal cavity. The glove had been tied off with a knot, the complaint says.
Jeanelle Lust, a Lincoln attorney who is representing the Miskes, said the Miskes' legal team assumes that the liquid-filled glove had been frozen and used as an ice pack or retractor during the 2011 surgery and was forgotten.
“She had all of these complications, including being told she may have cancer,” Lust said. “Then it turns out it's the glove.”
Lust declined an interview request for her clients.
Those named in the complaint: Pakiz, Karges, Cimo Hemphill, Pope Paul VI Institute Physicians PC, the Pope Paul VI Institute, Creighton University Medical Center, Alegent Creighton Health Inc., Creighton St. Joseph Regional Healthcare System LLC and others who treated Syndi Miske.