Patient Has Her Sights on Compensation

An eye for an eye

We only get two eyes.  If we lose one, it does not grow back.  If damaged, the optic nerve cannot be transplanted.  When it is necessary to undergo surgery on the eye, or eyes, trust the operating doctor and read all paperwork in its entirety.  In August 2017, Sutton Dryfhout granted her pediatric ophthalmologist permission to operate on her left eye to correct a lazy eye and remove a cyst.  In a lawsuit filed in Cook County, IL recently, Dryfhout claims that her trusted doctor not only operated on the incorrect eye, but also falsified already signed paperwork. Dryfhout now suffers from continuous optical complications, including double vision. 

Dr. Benjamin Ticho denies all claims against him in the lawsuit, including the use of the term “medical battery.”  The only comment Dr. Ticho has provided in response to this lawsuit is the accusations against him are “unfair.”  It may be safe to assume that Dryfhout did not think it was fair for Dr. Ticho to negligently operate on the wrong eye, and then try to cover it up by adjusting the consent form.  Prior to undergoing surgery, Dryfhout provided consent for Dr. Ticho to operate on her left eye.  Once the mistake was discovered, Dr. Ticho asked the plaintiff’s mother to sign her initials on the consent form, indicating a change in surgery to the right eye, instead of on the initially agreed upon left eye.

Dryfhout first realized that the ophthalmologist operated on the incorrect eye when she woke up from anesthesia in the recovery room, to a throbbing and bloody right eye.  The then 19-year-old expressed her concerns to the recovery room nurse, insisting that they touched the wrong eye. The nurse alerted the doctor, who immediately operated on Dryfhout’s left eye, without anesthesia, in the recovery room.  Dryfhout remembers begging the doctor to stop touching her eye with several unsterile instruments, including scissors, a needle, and a cautery pen.  Based on Dryfhout’s account of this entire incident, she has taken legal action against Dr. Ticho for medical battery and negligence.