Woman sues surgeon for removing the wrong body part during botched surgery

Junie Sihlangu
Aug 17, 2018
09:02 A.M.

An Iowa woman, Dena Knapp, had a botched surgery on October 5, 2016. She’s now suing the doctor involved for removing the wrong part of her body.


According to Argus Leader, was supposed to have an adrenal gland and a mass on the gland removed. Instead, Dr. Scott Baker removed her healthy kidney.

Dena Knapp has filed a lawsuit against Dr. Scott Baker and his Sioux Falls practice for wrongfully removing her kidney. She was supposed to have an adrenal gland and a mass on the gland removed in the 2016 surgery.

However, instead, Baker removed her healthy right kidney. Later that day, Baker was informed by the pathology department at Avera McKennan Hospital about the botched procedure.


For more on this story go to our Twitter account @amomama_usa. According to the lawsuit, on October 7, the doctor told Knapp that he hadn’t heard from pathology.

Four days later, Baker called Knapp and told her that part of the adrenal gland was still inside her body. He informed her that he “did not get everything” and advised her to undergo a second surgery.


Knapp had a second surgery, but this time at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. There the gland and mass were successfully removed.

The executive director for The Surgical Institute of South Dakota, Mark Hatting, said on Wednesday afternoon that he had not seen the complaint and could not comment. The institute is where Baker is a partner and Hatting is also named as a defendant.


The lawsuit stated that the doctor’s incorrect surgery resulted in an incurable and progressive kidney disease in Knapp’s remaining kidney. It’s said that she now suffers from pain, fatigue, depression, and mental distress.

“Further,” the lawsuit says, “since the erroneous surgery, Dena has been unable to perform many functions and has required replacement services to clean and maintain her home, the past and future cost of which is yet to be determined.”

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