April 23, 2009

Appendectomy removed ‘piece of fat’

Minnesota health officials revealed an appendicitis patient was called back to the hospital after a surgeon removed a piece of fat instead of the appendix.

The Minnesota Department of Health released a report Tuesday that said a patient underwent surgery for appendicitis at St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee in April 2008 and returned to the hospital two days later when doctors discovered his appendix had not been removed during the procedure, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Thursday.

The report said the hospital pathologist determined the specimen removed during the first operation was a piece of fat. The patient required an 11-day hospital stay due to complications from the second operation, which took place after the man's appendix burst.

Allina Hospitals & Clinics, co-owner of St. Francis, said in a statement that officials regret that this incident occurred. The company said the surgeon is no longer employed at St. Francis.