CHARLESTON -- A Kanawha County man is suing Charleston Area Medical Center and his surgeon after he claims medical hemostasis clips were left inside his abdomen following surgery.

On June 10, 2009, Steven M. Huffman presented to the hospital for a robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy to be performed by Dr. James P. Tierney, according to a complaint filed July 27 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Huffman claims immediately after surgery he complained of severe abdominal pain and constipation and that he could not keep down any liquids or foods.

Four days after surgery, when the condition failed to resolve, Huffman visited the hospital's emergency department, reporting chills, nausea, vomiting and fever, according to the suit.

Huffman claims his abdomen was tender, firm and distended and he was admitted to the hospital with suspected small bowel obstruction.

During a surgical exploration of Huffman's abdomen, two hemostasis clips were revealed to have adhered to the small bowel mesentery and the sidewall of the pelvis, not secured to any anatomical structure, according to the suit.

Huffman claims the defendants were negligent in allowing the surgical objects used in the surgery to remain in his abdomen.

The defendants also caused Huffman to miss work and suffer additional pain and deterioration of his general health, according to the suit.

Huffman is seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by Paul K. Reese.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Louis H. Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 11-C-1234

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