LAKELAND, Fla. — In January 2017, Carrie Monk had undergone a hysterectomy at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center. Soon after the procedure, she began suffering from constant bleeding.
“The pain, there was an odor, discharge, problems would happen when I would stand for a long time,” said Monk.
At the time Monk worked as a nurse at Lakeland Regional Health. As her symptoms grew worse, she was told it was an issue she would have to deal with for the rest of her life.
“Had really affected my entire life, my mental health and my relationship with my husband,” she said.
It wasn’t until a year later, she was informed that doctors used permanent sutures instead of dissolvable sutures when performing her hysterectomy.
“I was just in complete disbelief. I could not believe that this institution that I had worked for, dedicated my life to had let me down,” Monk said.
Monk is one of three women who have filed medical malpractice lawsuits against Lakeland Regional Health. Her attorney said he’s helping more than a dozen women file lawsuits.
“They were wronged by the medical procedure and all have suffered to some degree or another, some far worse than others of course, for a long period of time, unnecessarily,” said Tom Saunders President of Saunders Law Group.
Lakeland Regional has recently sent certified letters to former patients, stating the use of permanent stitches instead of dissolvable, when performing laparoscopic hysterectomies. The hospital is inviting patients to contact the medical center to discuss treatment options.
ABC Action News asked the hospital about the letters. In an emailed statement Dr. Timothy Regan, President and Chief Medical Officer of Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center said:
"At Lakeland Regional Health, the safety and well-being of our patients are our top priorities. Being upfront with our patients and their families vital not only to our relationship with patients but also to providing them the best outcomes. We are committed to educating patients and their families about their surgical care every step of their journey, and our clinical team works diligently to ensure that patients understand their medical situations and can partner with us for a lifetime of wellness."