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Man sues doctor for negligence after implant malfunction

A 44-year old man in Newark, New Jersey has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against an urologist for allegedly leaving him with an eight-month long erection after a penile implant was surgically placed inside him. The medical malpractice suit alleges that the doctor failed to ensure that the implant worked properly, leaving him with an erection that led to much social embarrassment and a negative impact on his sex life.

Lawyers for the urologist claim that the device could be removed surgically at any time, and that the complications were part of the risk of the elective surgery. In response, the man claims that he lost his insurance coverage and was thus unable to pay for the surgical removal, although the doctor states that he would have worked with the man to remove the implant, regardless of the cost. The implant was eventually removed and replaced with a another prosthesis, but the man claims he now has a much smaller penis and a resulting lack of sensation.

Penile implants are a risky surgical procedure, as this case demonstrates. According to medical literature, one-third of those who suffer from erectile dysfunction do not respond to non-surgical treatment, and only half of those affected are eligible for surgery. The implants are subject to erosion, infection, mechanical failure, and a shifting in position, making them extremely risky for a patient.

Medical malpractice is a form of negligence in which a medical professional breaches a duty of ordinary care towards another, which breach causes harm to the other person. More specifically, doctors may be held liable for a failure to adequately treat a patient or for surgical errors.

Anyone affected by an incidence of medical malpractice may be entitled to a monetary judgment in the form of damages. The victim may be able to recover for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and any disability that results from the negligence. A victim of medical malpractice has the right to hold those responsible accountable for their errors.

Source: CBS News, "Urologist sued by N.J. man after implant surgery led to 8-month erection," Michelle Castillo, June 12, 2013

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