Medical malpractice in endourology: Analysis of closed cases from the state of New York

Brian Duty, Zhamshid Okhunov, Zeph Okeke, Arthur Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Medical malpractice indemnity payments continue to rise, resulting in increased insurance premiums. We reviewed closed malpractice claims pertaining to endourological procedures with the goal of helping urologists mitigate their risk of lawsuit. All closed malpractice claims from 2005 to 2010 pertaining to endourological procedures filed against urologists insured by the Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Company of New York were examined. Claims were reviewed for plaintiff demographics, medical history, operative details, alleged complication, clinical outcome and lawsuit disposition. A total of 25 closed claims involved endourological operations and of these cases 10 were closed with an indemnity payment. The average payout was $346,722 (range $25,000 to $995,000). Of the plaintiffs 16 were women and mean plaintiff age was 51.4 years. Cystoscopy with ureteral stent placement/exchange resulted in 13 lawsuits, ureteroscopic lithotripsy 8, percutaneous stone extraction 2 and shock wave lithotripsy 2. There were 17 malpractice suits brought for alleged operative complications. Failure to arrange adequate followup was implicated in 4 cases. Error in diagnosis and delay in treatment was alleged in 3 claims. Urologists are not immune to the current medical malpractice crisis. Endourology and urological oncology generate the greatest number of lawsuits against urologists. Most malpractice claims involving endourological procedures result from urolithiasis and alleged technical errors. Therefore, careful attention to surgical technique is essential during stone procedures to reduce the risk of malpractice litigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)528-532
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • endoscopy
  • insurance
  • malpractice
  • risk management
  • urology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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