When someone goes in for a routine procedure, they don’t expect to come out with a life-changing mistake having been made. This is especially true when parents entrust doctors with their children. Unfortunately, this is just what happened to a four-year-old-boy from Texas. A routine hernia procedure left him with an accidental vasectomy. His parents are now suing the hospital.
Doctor Gives 4-Year-Old Boy Accidental Vasectomy
In August 2021, Krystal and Jon Brod brought their four-year-old son into Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston for an inguinal hernia. The little boy was experiencing uncomfortable scrotal swelling, particularly near the end of the day. His surgeon, Doctor Susan Jarosz, found that he had a hernia on the right side. Dr. Jarosz and an assisting resident performed a surgery to repair it. (1)
Everything seemed fine until they sent the hernia sac to pathology. In their report, the pathologists noted the presence of tissue from the vas deferens in the sample. This, at least the lawsuit alleges, essentially means that the surgeon gave the boy an accidental vasectomy.
“The surgeon, we think, cut accidentally the vas deferens, one of the tubes that carries reproductive semen in it. It could affect this young man for the rest of his life,” said the family’s lawyer Randall Sorrels. “It is shocking a doctor would cut one of the reproductive components and not even know it. It is more shocking the doctor refuses to be held accountable for this mistake. This lawsuit seeks to hold the doctor accountable.” (2)
A Devastated Family
The family of the boy was extremely upset when the hospital advised them of what happened. Naturally, they are worried about their little boy’s future. This could have a large, negative impact on his fertility.
“There is a chance it won’t matter because one side will hopefully work,” said attorney Sorrels. “There can be reversals, but those are not always successful.”
This will now be something that the parents will have to talk to their son about when he is older. He, as well, will have to have this conversation with future partners if they want to start a family.
“We are saddened by this injury that was thrust onto our son’s life unnaturally, through no fault of his own,” the family said, via Sorrels. “We are dreading the conversations we will have to have with him in his teenage years, and know he will have to have serious and unwanted conversations with whoever he will want to start a family with.”
The family is taking legal action against the hospital for the grave error. There are no plans for the child to have another surgery for now. They know, however, that he may need reproductive help in the future. This, of course, will come along with costs.
The lawsuit alleges that Dr. Jarosz was negligent in the care that she provided to the little boy. This negligence includes not properly distinguishing or separating the hernia sac from the vas deferens before removing the hernia surgically. It also includes failing to carefully operate without damaging or removing vas deferens tissue, failing to comply with safety protocol, and failing to maintain the applicable standard of care.
They are seeking $250,000 to $1,000,000 for damages. These damages include future medical care such as the long lasting effects not just on his fertility, but the emotional and psychological damage that he will suffer from.
The hospital has not said much about the incident because it involves a patient and a minor at that. Speaking out about it would breach patient confidentiality laws. They have released the following statement:
“Texas Children’s Hospital’s top priority is the health and well-being of our patients. Due to patient privacy requirements, we are unable to comment.”
- “Parents of 4-Year-Old Sue Urologist for ‘Unintentional Vasectomy’.” Made Page Today. Sophie Putka. June 15, 2022
- “Texas 4-Year-Old Given ‘Unintended’ Vasectomy During Surgery.” Newsweek. Jack Dutton. June 14, 2022.