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Surgeon Who Removed Healthy Kidney Denies Negligence

He was supposed to remove woman's adrenal gland
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 20, 2018 1:44 AM CDT
Knapp ended up having the adrenal glands removed at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.   (Getty Images/Morsa Images)

(Newser) – A South Dakota surgeon admitted to mistakenly removing an Iowa woman's healthy kidney but denied that he breached the standard of care, according to the surgeon's response to a lawsuit filed by the patient. Dr. Scott Baker and the Surgical Institute of South Dakota acknowledged in an answer to Dena Knapp's lawsuit that Baker removed Knapp's right kidney instead of an adrenal gland and an associated mass, the Argus Leader reports. Knapp, of Milford, Iowa, filed the lawsuit last month alleging professional negligence. She developed stage-three kidney disease after her Oct. 2016 surgery. Baker and the Sioux Falls hospital "deny the nature, scope, and extent of plaintiff's claimed injuries, losses, and damages," their response states.

Knapp alleged that she wasn't told about the mix-up until after she was released from the hospital, the AP reports. Baker had known on the day of the surgery that he hadn't removed the adrenal gland because he was notified by Avera McKennan Hospital's pathology department, according to the lawsuit. But Baker claims that Knapp was provided with the information on the day of her surgery. Knapp's medical records also indicated "a very superiorly located right adrenal gland," which was near the large lobe of her liver, according to the defendant's answer. Baker and the Surgical Institute said they did not breach the standard of care by removing the kidney, failing to remove the adrenal gland, and failing to admit the mistake. They also deny that Knapp suffered damages.

(Read more surgery stories.)

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