An obstetrician who died amid a malpractice investigation was being sued by a former patient who accused him of leaving her with internal injuries.
An obstetrician who died amid a malpractice investigation was being sued by a former patient who accused him of leaving her with internal injuries.

Dead doctor faced hysterectomy lawsuit

An obstetrician - who died while he was the subject of a malpractice investigation - was being sued by a former patient who accused him of leaving her with internal injuries after a total hysterectomy.

The woman, who The Advertiser has chosen not to name, claims she has suffered early menopause, significant abdominal pain, bowel dysfunction and depression after the operation by Dr Yen-Yung Yap.

But in his response, filed before his death, Dr Yap denied any wrongdoing and said the patient wanted the "urgent" surgery and he had warned her of its potential risks.

Dr Yap who had been sanctioned by medical regulators over the delivery of two babies in 2015 and 2019, was found dead in Kuitpo Forest on September 5 - two days after failing to collect his children from school. His former patient and her partner are suing him in the District Court for unspecified damages and loss of income after the July 25, 2013 surgery.

In her claim, lodged three years after the operation, she says Dr Yap had recommended a full hysterectomy, allegedly telling her there was a risk ovarian cysts could be cancerous.

She claims a registrar at the Flinders Medical Centre on July 18, 2013 had advised there was no need for the surgery and suggested further investigation. She had surgery with Dr Yap seven days later at Ashford Hospital, according to the statement of claim, and was reviewed by Dr Yap on July 31 and August 26, 2013, when he noted she had bowel problems and discharged her into the care of her GP.

Obstetrician Dr Yen-Yung Yap was accused of medical negligence …
Obstetrician Dr Yen-Yung Yap was accused of medical negligence …

She claims she had subsequent operations in 2014, 2015 and 2016, not conducted by Dr Yap, including bypassing of her large bowel and the placing of a cecostomy tube to clear her bowels.

She alleges Dr Yap failed in his duty of care and failed to "provide or perform adequate pre-operative assessment prior to recommending a total hysterectomy and removal of ovaries".

And she also claims the emergency operation was "not warranted", the surgery caused injury and Dr Yap had failed to "exercise reasonable" care.

But Dr Yap's defence claims he had discussed treatment options with the patient, including pain management or a laparoscopy to determine whether to do the total hysterectomy.

He had claimed the patient was warned about the risks, had refused diagnostic surgery and wanted the hysterectomy.

Problems with her bowels had been ongoing and preceded his treatment, his defence said. He denied that he caused injury, loss or damage to due any "negligent treatment and/or breach of duty of care".

Dr Yap's insurer was expected to be substituted as the respondent in the civil claim.

 

Originally published as Dead doctor faced hysterectomy lawsuit

His death led to public accusations against health regulator. Pictures: Dr Yap’s family/Renato Castello
His death led to public accusations against health regulator. Pictures: Dr Yap’s family/Renato Castello

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