Parents of Sue, a 4-year-old urologist, for ‘involuntary vasectomy’

The parents of a 4-year-old boy are suing Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston for subjecting their son to an “unintentional vasectomy” during an inguinal hernia operation.

The boy had swelling in his scrotum that increased at night and his doctor, Susan Jarosz, DO, found that he had a hydrocele, or hernia, on the right side. Jarosz performed surgery to repair it in August 2021, assisted by a resident.

However, when the hernia sac was sent to pathology, according to the lawsuit, the report noted the presence of vas deferens tissue in the sample, which the suit says is equivalent to a vasectomy.

The Harris County District Court lawsuit alleges that Jarosz was “negligent in providing medical treatment by failing to act as a reasonable health care provider should” in the same situation.

Randall Sorrels, attorney for parents, John and Krystal Brod, clarified in an email to medpage today that the hospital confirmed that the section of the vas deferens was accidental and not bilateral. “There’s a chance it won’t matter because hopefully one side will work,” Sorrels wrote. “There can be reversals, but they are not always successful.”

According to the complaint and an accompanying press release shared with medpage today, the hospital’s risk management staff apologized and advised the parents about the injury, which included potential future fertility issues, and said they should tell the child about the injury when he is older. But according to the press release, “full accountability was not accepted.”

“We are saddened by this injury that was inflicted on our son’s life in an unnatural way, through no fault of his own,” the family said, via Sorrels. “We dread the conversations we will have to have with him in his teens, and we know he will have to have serious and unwanted conversations with anyone who wants to start a family.”

According to the lawsuit, Jarosz’s negligence included failing to properly distinguish or separate the hernial sac from the vas deferens before surgically removing the hernial sac, failing to operate carefully “without resecting the vas deferens tissue,” failing to comply with safety protocol, and not to maintain the applicable standard of care.

Sorrels added in the email that there are no plans for the boy to have another surgery, but “he may need to receive reproductive assistance in the future.”

The suit seeks $250,000 to $1,000,000 in damages, including any future medical care, “lasting effects…including your fertility, as well as emotional and psychological harm.”

A statement from Texas Children’s Hospital in an email to medpage today read: “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.”

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    Sophie Putka is a business and research writer for MedPage Today. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Discover, Business Insider, Inverse, Cannabis Wire, and more. She joined MedPage Today in August 2021. To follow

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