Judge to rule in malpractice suit where woman says Wake Forest doctor ruined her chances of getting pregnant – Winston-Salem Journal

A Forsyth County judge will have to decide whether to rule in favor of a doctor accused of violating standards of care when he placed a device inside a patient that her attorneys claim ruined her chances of getting pregnant.

After a hearing that lasted more than three hours on Wednesday, Judge Eric Morgan of Forsyth Superior Court said he will issue a ruling at a later time.

Kimberly Bryant is seeking at least $10.1 million in damages from Dr. Mehmet Tamer Yalcinkaya, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Wake Forest University Health Services and N.C. Baptist Hospital. Yalcinkaya is the former director of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Wake Forest Baptist and is now the practice founder of Carolina Fertility Institute, which has offices in Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Charlotte.

The lawsuit alleges that in October 2007, Yalcinkaya performed a surgery on Bryant to remove uterine fibroids and that without her knowing, he also inserted what is known as a Gore-Tex barrier inside her. The lawsuit accuses Yalcinkaya of never telling Bryant about the device. According to the lawsuit, the device stayed inside Bryant for nearly 10 years until 2017, when it broke into two pieces, requiring emergency surgery. One of the doctors who performed the surgery to remove the device told Bryant that she should be outraged and that she would likely need a hysterectomy as a result of the barrier, the lawsuit said.

Yalcinkaya has denied the allegations and filed a motion for summary judgment, in which he asks a judge to rule in his favor without having to go to trial.

During the hearing, attorneys on both sides disputed a lot of the alleged facts in the case. One of the main disputes was whether the Gore-Tex barrier was used for a medically-necessary and therapeutic reason. Tamara Coffey, attorney for Yalcinkaya, argued that even the plaintiff's medical expert agrees that it was for a therapeutic reason. And if that is the case, Coffey said, then the claims in the lawsuit are barred by statute of limitations.

Harvey Kennedy, one of the attorneys for the plaintiff, said in court that the barrier should have been removed within two to eight weeks. Instead, he said, the barrier remained in Bryant's body, without her knowledge, for nearly 10 years. After two to eight weeks, the barrier stopped having any therapeutic impact. And by having it inside Bryant for so long, the barrier caused damage to her body, Kennedy argued.

Harvey Kennedy and his brother, Harold Kennedy, also an attorney for Bryant, filed an affidavit from Dr. Steven McCarus, chief of the division of Gynecological Surgery at Florida Hospital Celebration Health and the medical expert for Bryant in the case.

McCarus said in his affidavit that after reviewing Bryant's medical records, he concluded that Yalcinkaya had no medical reason to place the Gore-Tex barrier inside Bryant's body and that it certainly should not have been left inside her for nearly 10 years.

Yalcinkaya denied the allegations in an affidavit as part of the motion for summary judgment and said that the barrier was used to prevent additional scar-like tissue from coming back after dealing with Stage Four endometriosis that he discovered during the surgery. Endometriosis is a painful condition in which cells normally found inside the lining of the uterus start growing outside of it. He claimed, among other things, that he told Bryant about the barrier, that it was medically necessary and that Bryant failed to do follow-up drug therapy and a second surgery.

In an affidavit, Bryant said Yalcinkaya never mentioned the device or the need for follow-up drug therapy and a second surgery.

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Judge to rule in malpractice suit where woman says Wake Forest doctor ruined her chances of getting pregnant - Winston-Salem Journal

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