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“The Husband Stitch” and Medical Malpractice

Childbirth can be extremely stressful on a mother’s body. Sometimes, a vaginal delivery is only possible with an episiotomy, a cut made to the vagina’s posterior wall. This was once routine for births in the United States, but it has become much less common in recent decades as research has shown it to be more harmful than helpful.

Like any other surgical cut, an episiotomy has to be repaired. Sometimes, doctors make additional, unnecessary stitches during the repair in an effort to make the vaginal opening tighter for the woman’s partner. This practice is sometimes known as the “husband stitch.” Often, it is performed without the woman’s consent. When it occurs, it is an act of medical malpractice. Victims who suffer complications after improper episiotomy repairs, whether done intentionally or not, can seek compensation for their damages through personal injury claims.

Complications of a Botched Episiotomy Repair

The most common complication of a botched episiotomy repair is severe pain during intercourse. Scar tissue forms around the incision site, healing the vaginal opening to be smaller than it would be naturally. Scar tissue does not stretch, and some women experience new tearing at their episiotomy sites.

Other complications of a botched or overdone episiotomy repair include:

  • Incontinence;
  • Nerve damage that results in a loss of sensation in the area;
  • Disfigurement; and
  • Infection.

In some cases, victims of botched episiotomy repairs need reconstructive surgery to correct the damage.

Seeking Compensation for Your Medical Malpractice Damages

An improperly performed episiotomy repair, or any improperly repaired surgical cut, for that matter, can hurt you more than just physically. Having your body altered in this way can cause you to suffer emotional trauma and negatively impact your relationship with your partner. When you need additional treatment to correct the doctor’s initial repair attempt, the time it takes you to receive this treatment and then recover from the surgery can keep you out of work for a prolonged period, causing you to suffer financially, as well.

You can seek compensation for all of these expenses through a medical malpractice claim. To do so, you must provide sufficient evidence to show that the damages you suffered were because of your doctor’s failure to act within the standard of care for your treatment. To demonstrate your medical bill expenses and those caused by your lost wages, your bills and documentation of your leave from work are important pieces of evidence. To show how the malpractice affected you emotionally, documentation from a counselor from whom you sought treatment and testimonies from yourself and your loved ones can illustrate the extent of your pain.

Work with an Experienced La Crosse Medical Malpractice Lawyer

When you suffer damages because of a healthcare provider’s error, you have the right to seek compensation for those damages through a medical malpractice claim. Contact our team of experienced personal injury lawyers at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. today to set up your initial consultation with us.

Published February 13, 2018
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