Couple sues GW Hospital, MFA alleging lack of consent in uterus removal surgery

Media Credit: File Photo by Lillian Bautista | Senior Photo Editor

The lawsuit states that doctors did not inform Garvin of a “wait and watch” option, which recommends health care officials take time to monitor for conflicting test results because of the tendency for tests to yield “false-positives.”

A couple is suing the GW Hospital and Medical Faculty Associates for $5 million alleging a doctor was negligent when surgically removing a patient’s uterus under false pretenses.

In a 19-page complaint filed in D.C. Superior Court last week, Ebony Garvin and Mark Campbell allege that George Samman performed a hysterectomy, a uterus removal surgery, in 2017 after withholding negative uterine cancer test results that would have stopped Garvin from agreeing to the surgery. The lawsuit states that Samman and other doctors involved in the treatment bypassed a “wait and watch approach” that would have allowed Garvin to learn of the negative results and decide against the surgery.

“Plaintiff endured economic and non-economic damages, physical pain and injury and severe and enduring emotional distress by undergoing an unnecessary total hysterectomy, despite wanting to have children in the future,” the complaint states.

GW Hospital spokeswoman Susan Griffiths and MFA spokeswoman Barbara Porter did not return requests for comment.

Garvin alleges that Joy Bullin of LabCorp America, a company providing clinical lab services, located endometrial cancer in her uterus in early May 2017 after Samman sent LabCorp a piece of Garvin’s tissue to find the cause behind “abnormal” menstrual cycles she experienced since she was 11 years old.

The lawsuit states that Samman told Garvin she had cancer and performed a “dilation-and-curettage,” also known as a “D&C” – a procedure used to diagnose health conditions in and around the uterus – to confirm the results six days later at GW Hospital.

Garvin, Samman and Bullin could not be reached for comment.

The lawsuit states that GW Hospital officials sent the D&C test results to a pathology lab owned by Universal Health Services, the majority owner of GW Hospital, where Anwar Farhood found no traces of cancer on May 15. Garvin alleges that Samman never told her of the results before he surgically removed the uterus on June 19.

The lawsuit states that hospital officials sent the surgical results to undergo a pathology report after the hysterectomy under the supervision of UHS, MFA and District Hospital Partners, GW Hospital’s partnership with UHS. Melanie Estrella and Stephanie Barak conducted the report and found no traces of cancer from the hysterectomy results, according to the complaint.

Farhood, Estrella, Barak, LabCorp America and Universal Health Services did not return requests for comment.

“As a direct and proximate result of the aforementioned negligence of Defendant Healthcare Providers and their agents, servants and employees, Defendants failed to inform and adequately treat Plaintiff Garvin when confronted with endometrial biopsy and D & C results, causing an unnecessary total hysterectomy to be performed on Plaintiff Garvin,” the complaint states.

The lawsuit states that doctors did not inform Garvin of a “wait and watch” option, which recommends health care officials take time to monitor for conflicting test results because of the tendency for tests to yield “false-positives.” Garvin alleges that she would have utilized the option and decided against the surgery after learning of the negative results.

“Any reasonable patient of her age and condition would have elected to undergo a wait and watch approach to avoid the performance of a total hysterectomy,” the complaint states.

The lawsuit states that the surgery has damaged Garvin’s marriage because she can no longer have sexual relations or give birth following the uterus removal. Garvin has also lost “employment opportunity,” wages, time and enjoyment from leisure and recreational activities, the complaint states.

The couple is requesting a trial by jury, according to the lawsuit.

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