Kimberly Bryant underwent a surgical procedure to remove her uterine fibroids at Wake Forest’s Baptist Medical Center. Uterine fibroids are growths which are noncancerous that tend to develop when women are in their years of childbearing. They are also known as leiomyomas and do not correlate with a heightened risk for cancer; however, they can make getting pregnant more difficult.
Bryant was not aware that the surgeon had placed an object in her body that would prevent her from becoming pregnant. Approximately ten years later, she was ill and was in need of additional surgery, during which it was revealed that a piece of Gore-Tex plastic was present. By this time, the presence of the plastic barrier had caused problems that would require her to have a hysterectomy.
A medical malpractice claim was filed in the Superior Court of Forsyth County seeking over $10 million in monetary and punitive damages from Dr. Mehmet Tamer Yalcinkaya and the Wake Forest Baptist Medical System.
Yalcinkaya had been the Director of Endocrinology and Infertility at “Wake” for about nine years and since founded the Carolinas Fertility Institute (CFI). A call was placed to CFI and they deferred any questions regarding the matter to Frank Peplowski, the facility’s administrator. Peplowski did not respond to messages.
At the time of the initial surgery, Bryant was 29-years-old. The suit stated that Bryant informed Yalcinkaya that she wished to remain fertile in hopes of having children; however, without her knowledge or consent, the surgeon had put the Gore-Tec barrier in place prior to surgery. After the procedure Bryant thought she would be able to get pregnant, and she and her husband tried for years. When the barrier was discovered ten years later it had separated into two parts and the surgeon who made the discovery was said to have been in disbelief. Bryant was then informed that a hysterectomy would be necessary, effectively ending any hopes of ever bearing a child.
The suit says that Yalcinkaya had acted as the manager and was the attending doctor during Bryant’s operation in 2007. The suit accuses Wake Forest Baptist Medical of condoning the action by failing to conduct any disciplinary acts, terminate his hospital privileges or report the finding to the responsible agencies.
According to the North Carolina Medical Board records, his license for practicing is currently active and no current disciplinary actions exist. An investigation revealed that a woman had attempted to file a negligence claim against Yalcinkaya after incurring a lethal infection after he performed a fibroid surgery. This claim was barred because the statute of limitations period, which is three years in N.C., had passed and the case was dismissed.
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