Woman says doctor caused excessive pain after surgery

By Cara Bailey | Apr 11, 2007


CHARLESTON - A Kanawha County woman has filed a malpractice suit against a Charleston doctor, claiming he caused her more pain and suffering than was necessary after a surgery he performed.

Leola Barnette filed a suit March 28 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Michael Schiano, a licensed gynecological oncologist.

The suit says Barnette saw Schiano in December 2004 after complaining of abdominal pain. On Dec. 7, 2004, Schiano performed surgery, removing Barnette's ovaries and appendix. According to the lawsuit, he also detached sections of her colon and bladder, which were adhering to surrounding tissue, and tried to restore them.

Barnette claims that after the surgery she continued to feel pain. A later exam showed an infected subcutaneous tissue, or an abscess, the suit says.

On Jan. 6, 2005, Schiano performed additional surgery, including an incision and drainage of an infected subcutaneous tissue.

On Jan. 11, a CT scan was done of Barnette's pelvis, which showed a possible fluid collection from surgery, a possible portion of the left ovary or ovarian cystic disease if a portion of the left ovary was still present, or a possible abscess, the suit says.

On May 5, 2005, Barnette went to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, and saw Lawrence Roberts, the chief of surgery.

"Ms. Barnette reported wound drainage, which included food particles and digestive gas," the suit says. "Dr. Roberts diagnosed an enterocutaneous fistula following gynecological surgery."

On July 1, 2005, Roberts performed an exploratory laparotomy, resected approximately 12 inches of Barnette's sigmoid colon and repaired the original fistula. Barnette was discharged on July 9, 2005.

According to the suit, the failure of Schiano to "recognize the potential for bowel injury in a more timely manner and to have seen to it that this was resolved long before the need for bowel loss was a direct deviation in the standard of care of a gynecological oncologist."

Barnette claims that because of Schiano's negligence she suffered medical expenses, pain and anguish, loss of wages and was otherwise injured.

Through attorney John R. Mitchell, Barnette seeks compensation for her losses and damages.

The case has been assigned to Judge Irene Berger.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-590

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