Indianapolis GERD Surgery Attorney - Cohen & Malad, LLP

Negligently Performed Nissen Fundoplication

Indianapolis Nissen Fundoplication Medical Malpractice Lawyers


Medical professionals treat patients for a variety of illnesses. Treatments can range from recommendation for lifestyle changes to daily medication to a surgical procedure. Patients rely on their physician to have the proper knowledge and skill to perform the procedures that they recommend. When a healthcare professional negligently performs a surgical procedure, the result can be deadly.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, also known as GERD, is a condition in which the acid from the stomach travels up the esophagus. When the acid rises, a person will often experience symptoms such as heartburn, possible regurgitation of stomach acid, difficult or painful swallowing, and chest pain. Heartburn is the most common symptom of this disease and ranges in severity for different individuals.

The difference between GERD & heartburn is that heartburn is a symptom of GERD and GERD is a condition in which stomach acid repeatedly travels back up the esophagus causing damage to the tissue as acid burns through it. It is estimated that over 25 million adults suffer from acid reflux or GERD.

GERD treatment varies by patient and the severity of their symptoms. Over the counter and prescription medicines can be ordered by the physician to lower the level of acid in the stomach. Lifestyle changes can also be suggested by the doctor in order to lessen symptoms. In some severe cases, reflux surgery may be necessary. A laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication is a procedure that may help some patients cope with GERD.

A Nissen fundoplication is typically performed as a laparoscopic surgery in which a portion of the stomach is wrapped around the lower end of the esophagus to aid the esophageal sphincter in closing so that stomach acid cannot travel up into the esophagus thus eliminating the reflux.

Negligently Performed Nissen Fundoplication Claim

The patient was an otherwise healthy woman in her early fifties who suffered from gastric reflux, which did not respond well to medication. She was referred to the defendant surgeon in Tipton, Indiana, to explore surgical options for the treatment of her gastric reflux. The surgeon recommended a Nissen fundoplication, a procedure in which the stomach is freed from the abdominal wall, wrapped around itself at the top where the esophagus joins the stomach, and stitched to itself. The point of the procedure was to create an artificial “sphincter,” which would ensure that fluids from the stomach would not travel back up into the esophagus (reflux). The defendant performed the surgery in such a negligent manner that the sutures tore a hole in the patient’s stomach, an extremely painful condition. During the twenty-four hours after surgery, the nurses and surgeon essentially ignored the patient’s complaints of 10/10 pain, while on high doses of pain medication, elevated white blood count (indicative of infection), decreased respiratory rate, decreased oxygen level (even with an oxygen mask in place) and increased blood pressure (in response to pain). Her condition declined to the point where nurses were unable to obtain a blood pressure reading for her. Only then did the doctors and nurses recognize that the patient was in distress. By that time it was too late and after two more unsuccessful procedures, the patient died an excruciatingly painful death. This case was tried resulting in a verdict for the Plaintiff.

Indiana Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Medical personnel are trained to perform surgical procedures to improve the quality of life for their patients. When a physician or medical professional negligently performs a surgical procedure such as a Nissen fundoplication the results can be catastrophic. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury as a result of a physician’s negligent performance of a surgical procedure, contact us. Our experienced Indianapolis medical malpractice attorneys have litigated cases in Martinsville, Tipton, Carmel, Lake County, and all around the state of Indiana and can discuss your Indiana medical malpractice claim with you and inform you of your legal rights and options.

There is no fee for your initial consultation and we do not collect fees until your claim is paid. Cohen & Malad, LLP has earned a well-respected reputation as a tough litigation firm in the courtroom and during negotiations and can bring Power to Your Voice.