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Lawsuits & Litigation

Lawsuit Claims Doctor Performed Surgery on Wrong Eye without Anesthesia

— May 3, 2019

A lawsuit was recently filed against an eye doctor and his practice after a patient claimed he operated on the wrong eye without anesthesia.

Imagine going in for surgery on your arm only to learn your surgeon operated on the wrong arm. Understandably, you’d be pretty upset. Unfortunately, one woman experienced a situation similar to this and is suing as a result. Sutton Dryfhout filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court on Monday against a “southwest suburban doctor for allegedly performing surgery on the wrong eye, then trying to fix his mistake without anesthesia in 2017.

Cook County Circuit Court courthouse
Cook County Circuit Court courthouse; image courtesy of kmaschke via Wikimedia Commons,

According to the suit, Dr. Benjamin Ticho was the one to operate on Dryfhout’s “right eye on Aug. 21, 2017, after she signed forms consenting to surgery to remove a cyst and correct a wandering left eye.” Dryfhout was 19-years-old at the time of the operation. When she woke up in a recovery room, Dryfhout “noticed her right eye was in pain and bleeding, rather than her left eye,” according to the suit. Prior to the surgery, she was under the understanding that her left eye was the one to be operated on. When she asked her nurse, the nurse called Ticho.

When Ticho arrived, he allegedly said he forgot something and “asked the nurse to hold Dryfhout down while he operated on her left eye,” according to the suit. Dryfhout said:

“I was awake during the second surgery. I was screaming for him to stop. I could feel the needle going into my eye, see the scissors he was using and smell the cautery burning my eye.”

To make matters worse, the lawsuit alleges Ticho performed the “second surgery in an unsterile recovery room using unsterilized instruments he’d brought with him from another surgery room.” According to the consent forms Dryfhout signed before her surgery, Ticho was only authorized to “operate on her under anesthesia to revise one muscle, left eye and remove a conjunctival cyst, left eye.” Additionally, she also signed consent forms for Dr. Colette Major to “administer anesthesia for the same procedures.” On top of that, the suit claims Ticho altered the “surgery consent form after the second operation, crossing out ‘left’ and writing in ‘right’ and having Dryfhout’s mother initial the form.”

As a result of her ordeal, Dryfhout now suffers from a variety of vision problems, including recurring headaches and double vision. The cyst in her left eye has also returned. As part of the suit, she’s seeking an “unspecified amount in damages” and accuses Ticho, along with his practice, of medical battery, negligence, assault, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Additionally, Major and her practice, Midwest Anesthesiologists Ltd., are also listed as defendants and accuses the two of negligence. So far, neither Ticho or Major have been disciplined.


Lawsuit: SW Suburban Doctor Operated on Wrong Eye, Tried to Fix Mistake With No Anesthesia

Doctor operated on wrong eye, tried to fix mistake with no anesthesia: lawsuit

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