Defense Verdict In Bronx County

On June 26, 2008, Elizabeth Cornacchio obtained a defense verdict in the Bronx County Supreme Court on behalf of a urologist treating a patient with severe benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). Plaintiff, then 55 years old,  had had urinary problems for four years and voided approximately every two hours during the daytime and four times during the night.  When he had the urge to urinate, he could not control himself and reported a sharp pain and pressure during urination located in the bladder. 

After an extensive work up and months of medical therapy with limited relief of his BPH,  plaintiff elected to undergo one of a group of surgeries known as Minimally Invasive Surgical Therapy (MIST);  he selected the Water Induced Thermo-therapy (WIT) procedure.  Initially, his condition improved, but he then developed a urethral stricture.  He ultimately had to undergo a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP).  Allegations included lack of  informed consent and failure to properly perform a WIT procedure, resulting in a bulbar urethral burn and stricture.  Plaintiff pointed to his extreme discomfort during the procedure, and subsequent stricture,  as an indication that he sustained an unintended burn. 

During the WIT procedure hot water was circulated through a catheter with the aim of using heat to reduce the size of the prostate.  Water treatment temperature was approximately 60° C and treatment time was set for 45 minutes.  The patient  experienced moderate discomfort  and the treatment temperature was lowered to 56.8° C for approximately thirty five (35) minutes of treatment.  It appears that the plaintiff tolerated the procedure well and after approximately one (1) hour of observation went home. 

After several months,  plaintiff underwent another cystoscopy that revealed a prostatic stricture.  The anterior urethra appeared normal as did the bulbar urethra.  A subsequent caregiver found a bulbar stricture on repeat cystoscopy.  Ultimately – after several more years of symptoms and treatment plaintiff underwent a TURP.   Plaintiff’s expert conceded he could not say what instrumentation caused the stricture.  The defense expert,  a world renowned expert in BPH found the defendant’s care entirely proper. 

The jury returned a defense verdict.