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An American family is suing Texas Children's Hospital after their four-year-old son was accidentally given a vasectomy during an operation to treat a hernia on his groin.
According to court documents cited by ABC13, when Dr Susan Jarosz was attempting to remove the hernia she also cut the boy's vas deferens, the duct that carries sperm out of the testes.
The surgeon and risk management staff at Texas Children's Hospital advised the parents of the error and the possible short and long term consequences that the child would suffer.
The boy may be rendered infertile by the surgical slip-up.
The family is now suing Dr Jarosz and Texas Children's Hospital for $500,000 ($AUD 724,000, £415,000) in damages, which is the maximum amount of money a party can be awarded in such an incident.
“[The child] once he’s old enough to know about what happened and can process and accept it for himself, will be required to have this conversation with any future serious partners,” reads the lawsuit, as per News Observer.
"There is a possibility that he may have to utilise assisted reproduction services to conceive. These are all considerations that the typical four-year-old does not have."
"The standard procedure is to properly identify the anatomy, and then you cut. I think the surgeon failed to properly identify the anatomy before cutting," he said.
"I've seen this mistake happen in different cases, but never a surgeon who cuts the vas deferens of a four-year-old."
He added: "That's very rare, but it's pretty simple. You properly identify the anatomy before you cut it."
The family fears the accidental snip will have a large impact on the boy and any of his future partners; so much so that they have elected to remain anonymous.
"The worst long term effect is the impact on the four-year-old's reproductive process that will require him to go through artificial reproductive procedures," Sorrels said.
"I don't think it'll be an impossibility to have children, but it could make it more difficult."
A spokesperson with the Texas Children's Hospital said its 'top priority is the health and well-being of our patients'.
"Due to patient privacy requirements, we are unable to comment," a spokesperson told ABC13.
Featured Image Credit: Phanie / Alamy Stock Photo. Dmytro Lukiian / Alamy Stock Photo.
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