Note to self – always paint Yes and No on body parts before surgery

Medical mistakes happen. It is an unfortunate facet of reality. It is especially unfortunate when you are the one who suffers because of an error. Just ask this veteran about how unfortunate those errors can be.

An Air Force veteran has filed a federal claim after an operation at a Veterans Administration hospital in which a healthy testicle was removed instead of a potentially cancerous one.

Benjamin Houghton, 47, was to have had his left testicle removed June 14 at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center because there was a chance it could harbor cancer cells. It also was atrophied and painful.

But doctors mistakenly removed the right testicle, according to medical records and the claim, which seeks $200,000 for future care and unspecified damages. He still hasn’t had the other testicle removed.

“At first I thought it was a joke,” Houghton told the Los Angeles Times. “Then I was shocked. I told them, ‘What do I do now?'”

My recommendation for what to do now is get the other one taken off. But use a sharpie, a magic marker, or some durable paint to avoid wrong site surgery the second time around.

[tags]Surgeon removes wrong testicle, Hey Doc – can you just swap those out down there?[/tags]