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Iowa Woman Suing Over Kidney Removal

An Iowa woman is taking her doctor and a surgical institute to court after she says they took out her kidney when they weren't supposed to.

Dena Knapp went to Dr. Scott Baker and the Surgical Institute of South Dakota to have her right adrenal gland and an associated mass removed, but according to the lawsuit, that's not what happened. 

According to court documents, Knapp received the surgery on October 5, 2016. 

Knapp says she later received some unexpected news from Dr. Scott Baker. 

"It was about 8:00 in the evening and the surgeon had come up into my patient room and was explaining to me at the time of the procedure when he was removing the adrenal gland and the mass that incidentally the kidney had come out with it," Dena Knapp said. 

Three days after she got out of the hospital, more upsetting news. 

According to the lawsuit, the doctor told Knapp part of the adrenal gland was still inside of her and that another surgery would be needed. 

Knapp reached out to Mayo Clinic for a second opinion. 

She says what she learned contradicted what she was previously told. 

"They actually verified that the full adrenal gland as well as the mass was still in tact and still inside, but that the kidney alone is what was removed," Knapp said. 

Knapp says the kidney removal led to stage III chronic kidney disease.

She lost her full time job and is always tired. 

"It's very difficult at times because being as active and outgoing and social as I was I haven't been able to enjoy the family activities or doing things for myself...mowing the yard or doing some of the housework," Knapp said. 

Knapp is hoping this ordeal will inspire others to become advocates for their own health care. 

Knapp did end up receiving the second surgery at the Mayo Clinic.

KELOLAND News received a statement from the Surgical Institute of South Dakota. 

"Nothing is more important than the safety of those in our care and the integrity of our operations. We cannot discuss details because of patient confidentiality. We are aware of the complaint and are in the process of reviewing. We have respect for the legal process and therefore will not be making additional public comment on the matter at this time."


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