Discussions By Condition: Medical Errors

"Ovarian cyst" diagnosis leads to ruptured appendix

Posted In: Medical Errors 13 Replies
  • Posted By: murphyslaw7
  • January 28, 2008
  • 07:25 AM

My family doctor assured me that it was nothing to worry about...ovarian cysts are very common and often go away on their own. I sat in the office partially relieved that it was "just a cyst" that had been causing all my abdominal pain for the last few months. But something inside of me told me it wasn't that simple. I tried to believe him as I walked out of the office with my mom. Little did i know I was really dealing with a case of misdiagnosed appendicitis that would eventually rupture.

I was 19, just finishing my first year of college. Off and on I had been dealing with constipation, diarrhea, and severe abdominal bloating and cramping. When the semester ended, I went to my MD who sent me for a series of tests. He suspected IBS, but needed to rule out any other issues. I went for an ultrasound, which discovered a large "cyst" on my right ovary. My pain was pretty intense, and the bloating continued. Because the ultrasound supposedly found the problem, my other tests were cancelled (upper and lower GI). My gynecologist saw me in the office and was surprised at the degree of pain i was having, but assured me I should wait a month and let it resolve. She gave me a Rx for pain meds and sent me home. I dont think a simple CBC was ever done.:confused:

Over the next few weeks, my pain became more severe. It was never the typical appendicitis symptoms. The pain was diffuse, spread over the entire abdomen. I had bouts of diarrhea and constipation. My stomach was almost always very bloated. I began to have trouble walking, and all i wanted to do was lie on the couch with a heating pad (probably the worst thing to do with an appendix that was about to rupture). One night I suddenly had extremely severe, sharp pains that felt like my insides were being ripped apart. I could not sleep, and i hobbled downstairs to wake my mom up. I was crying, and I thought i might need to go to the hospital. I didnt know what I should do. My mom thought i was just overreacting (thinking it was a cyst) and told me to go back to bed. "I have to get up early. You need to go lie down and go to sleep" she said.
:eek: :mad:
I tried to sleep, but the pain was horrific. I laid on my bed and cried, in fetal position, with a heating pad for the next few hours. Finally around 6am i crawled down the steps and my dad was awake. He took me to the ER. At this point I thought i was about to die. I could not stand the pain any longer.

The ER took me right away, but they still were suspecting the cyst. I had to go thru 2 pelvic exams that were very very painful, and my OBGYN came and told me she would laparoscopically remove the cyst. As i waited there, the most intense, sharp pains were going across my belly, and i coudlnt help but scream out in pain. I signed the papers and went to sleep for the surgery.

When I woke up, i was in a hospital room with all my family around. They told me there was no cyst at all. Durign the surgery, they realized my appendix had already ruptured and severe peritonitis was spread across my abdominal cavity. I was on a morphine PCA for a week,and i showed little improvement. I had to endure about 4 or 5 upper GI's to try to find out why i wasnt improving, and 3 CT scans. They suspected Chron's disease or some other issue, but nothing was found.

I spent 3 weeks total in the hospital, and the rest of the summer to recover. I could not walk more than 20 feet before i had to sit because of the pain. I also got a nice 6-7 inch scar that looks like i had a c-section. I didn't think I was going to recover enoguh to return to college in the fall. Nobody was sure why it was taking so long to recover, so in addition i had a colonoscopy and another CT to check for any abscesses or complications. None were found.

Finally 3 months after my surgery, i was able to resume most activities. Im about 90% better now (it will be FIVE YEARS ago in June!). I still deal with constipation and irregularity, and some pain around the scar tissue in my lower abdomen. I was also warned that the scarring may make it difficult to get pregnant if i decide i want to.

Just last week, the wife of a friend of my boyfriend just had her appendix burst too. She spent a week in the hospital and is home now. That is what prompted me to write about this.. Ive heard that misdiagnosis is common in women, and that women are often given diagnoses of OBGYN issues instead of appendicitis. I just want to iknow if anybody else has had similar experiences .. I wouldn't wish that terrifying experience on anyone.

Sincerely,
murphyslaw7:cool:

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13 Replies:

  • yes, i went through the same thing in january. went to the clinic with my entire midsection the size of a 9 month pregnancy and i am thin, with my urine looking like pure rust, and hitting a 10 on the pain chart right in thier waiting room in front of everyone. the doctor sent me home with pain pills because i told him that i was told i had a 2 cm fibroid 8 years ago that has never really caused me problems and i was on my period... told me to come back in a week if not better and they'd call me about an abdominal ultrasound later cuz fibroids really can cause some problems. ya right !!!!!!!!! 4 days later i was in the ER and within only a few hours of death- i would have been dead by the next morning the surgeon said. one of the worse cases she'd ever seen... in a way i really feel like suing the doctor cuz if it was immediate surgery then, i would have been out the next day instead of a full week of pure ***l in the hospital that only those of us who have experienced this can understand! :(
    LuckyToBeAlive 1 Replies
    • February 12, 2008
    • 08:38 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I had Ovarian cysts in Oct. 2006 which they thought may have been my appendix. I stayed overnight in the hospital and the next morning after another ct scan they said it was not enlarged enough to have surgery and my pain was coming from the cyst on my left ovary. I went through the next year with pain every month. The pain eventually stopped or I got use to it. On feb. 5th 2008 I had the same pain and went to the ER and the first words out of my mouth were my appendix and cysts. The doctor didnt even examine me they did blood work and told me I was pregnant. I said ok but this pain isnt pregnancy related. He told me that I was fine go home and take tylenol. I was so furious I just walked out. The next day I spent in severe pain and my boyfriend kept asking did I want to go to the ER I said why they will just tell me the same thing. On Thursday morning I woke him up and said we have to go somewhere now! He took me to a doctor in a different town and they did a urine test and found a lot of infection. Asked why I waited so long to come in. They called an ambulance and I was taken to another hospital where I layed on the bed in a hallway until they made room for me. After hours of screaming and crying they took me for an ultra sound and found my abdomen full of puss and I was rushed to surgery. The doctors kept aking why did I wait and I told them what the other doctor said they couldnt believe it and told me it was one of the worst they had ever seen and I was lucky because that can kill you! I was in the hospital for 6 days and when I got home I couldnt do anything. Not only was I suffering my family had to deal with me being very mean because I was in such horrible pain and being pregnant couldnt have pain pills. I ended up losing the baby about a month later and had to have a dnc. I also am thinking of suing. If that first doctor would have gave a ***n maybe it would'nt have ruptured and my family and I wouldnt have went through such ***l! If anyone has sued for this what happened?
    peachy74 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • My girlfriend is lying in the hospital (beside me) right now with this. She had the surgery last night and is incredible pain still today. They are already trying to get her to walk but she can barely move. We were in with the doctor days earlier and the diagnosis was food poisoning, then later "something gynecological." The had to remove one ovary, and said other organs were "affected" as well, but predict she will be out of hospital in a week. This is ***l. I am very afraid for her and wonder if she is getting the right treatment. Her fever returned this evening.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I know what she is going through right now. I didnt get up and walk for 2 days after my surgery and that was only out my door and back in it wasnt until the day before I went home that I actually walked down the hall and back. When I got home it wasnt much better because my boyfriend had to work and I was home alone. It's been almost 4 months now and I still dont feel like I use to. I have been turned down by 3 lawyers now but I am still trying. I know I would still have to have surgery. My problem is the treatment I got from that first doctor he did nothing. Its a small town hospital and if they didnt have the equipment to do the right test why didnt he send me somewhere else? Why didnt he even push on my stomach he might have known had he done that considering it was hard as a rock. He didnt touch me at all. Now I have over $43,000 in medical bills, which may not have been so high had he done something. Be strong for her and no matter how she may act for the next month dont take it personal. I was a horrible person because of being in pain for so long, my boyfriend went through ***l but he stood by me through the worst time and we are stronger for that. Good Luck!
    peachy74 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • I went through the same thing in Oct. '07. I went to the hospital with severe pains and they told me it could be Chlamydia. I was starting to get upset with my husband because I thought he was cheating. They took a sample (sent me home) and the test came back negative. I was in pain for 3 days before I went back to the hospital because they had sent me home previously I just couldn’t take it anymore. Finally they decided to do a CT scan and told me my appendix has ruptured and they would have to do immediate surgery (it took them 6 hours to do it). Once they went in they found out that a cyst had burst, but my appendix was fine. I was in the hospital for 5 days. (Oh yea, I forgot, I found out they took my appendix out anyway). A friend of mine just called me to tell me she went to the hospital this morning and they told her a cyst burst and they gave her some pain medicine and sent her back home. Now that’s a lawsuit waiting to happen.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am going through the exact same thing right now, for the last week i have had a constant pain in my lower right side and twice have had two extremely painful episodes which causes me to be sick and where i have been admitted into hospital, and both times have said it was a gynae problem saying it was a cyst that had burst, altho my gyneacologist said that it definitely was not a cyst as my ultra sounds showed nothing!! I've been released from hospital still in pain, im not really sure what to do now as the hospital doesnt seem to really know what is wrong!!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • September 10, 2009
    • 08:42 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • My family doctor assured me that it was nothing to worry about...ovarian cysts are very common and often go away on their own. I sat in the office partially relieved that it was "just a cyst" that had been causing all my abdominal pain for the last few months. But something inside of me told me it wasn't that simple. I tried to believe him as I walked out of the office with my mom. Little did i know I was really dealing with a case of misdiagnosed appendicitis that would eventually rupture. I was 19, just finishing my first year of college. Off and on I had been dealing with constipation, diarrhea, and severe abdominal bloating and cramping. When the semester ended, I went to my MD who sent me for a series of tests. He suspected IBS, but needed to rule out any other issues. I went for an ultrasound, which discovered a large "cyst" on my right ovary. My pain was pretty intense, and the bloating continued. Because the ultrasound supposedly found the problem, my other tests were cancelled (upper and lower GI). My gynecologist saw me in the office and was surprised at the degree of pain i was having, but assured me I should wait a month and let it resolve. She gave me a Rx for pain meds and sent me home. I dont think a simple CBC was ever done.:confused: Over the next few weeks, my pain became more severe. It was never the typical appendicitis symptoms. The pain was diffuse, spread over the entire abdomen. I had bouts of diarrhea and constipation. My stomach was almost always very bloated. I began to have trouble walking, and all i wanted to do was lie on the couch with a heating pad (probably the worst thing to do with an appendix that was about to rupture). One night I suddenly had extremely severe, sharp pains that felt like my insides were being ripped apart. I could not sleep, and i hobbled downstairs to wake my mom up. I was crying, and I thought i might need to go to the hospital. I didnt know what I should do. My mom thought i was just overreacting (thinking it was a cyst) and told me to go back to bed. "I have to get up early. You need to go lie down and go to sleep" she said.:eek: :mad: I tried to sleep, but the pain was horrific. I laid on my bed and cried, in fetal position, with a heating pad for the next few hours. Finally around 6am i crawled down the steps and my dad was awake. He took me to the ER. At this point I thought i was about to die. I could not stand the pain any longer. The ER took me right away, but they still were suspecting the cyst. I had to go thru 2 pelvic exams that were very very painful, and my OBGYN came and told me she would laparoscopically remove the cyst. As i waited there, the most intense, sharp pains were going across my belly, and i coudlnt help but scream out in pain. I signed the papers and went to sleep for the surgery.When I woke up, i was in a hospital room with all my family around. They told me there was no cyst at all. Durign the surgery, they realized my appendix had already ruptured and severe peritonitis was spread across my abdominal cavity. I was on a morphine PCA for a week,and i showed little improvement. I had to endure about 4 or 5 upper GI's to try to find out why i wasnt improving, and 3 CT scans. They suspected Chron's disease or some other issue, but nothing was found. I spent 3 weeks total in the hospital, and the rest of the summer to recover. I could not walk more than 20 feet before i had to sit because of the pain. I also got a nice 6-7 inch scar that looks like i had a c-section. I didn't think I was going to recover enoguh to return to college in the fall. Nobody was sure why it was taking so long to recover, so in addition i had a colonoscopy and another CT to check for any abscesses or complications. None were found. Finally 3 months after my surgery, i was able to resume most activities. Im about 90% better now (it will be FIVE YEARS ago in June!). I still deal with constipation and irregularity, and some pain around the scar tissue in my lower abdomen. I was also warned that the scarring may make it difficult to get pregnant if i decide i want to. Just last week, the wife of a friend of my boyfriend just had her appendix burst too. She spent a week in the hospital and is home now. That is what prompted me to write about this.. Ive heard that misdiagnosis is common in women, and that women are often given diagnoses of OBGYN issues instead of appendicitis. I just want to iknow if anybody else has had similar experiences .. I wouldn't wish that terrifying experience on anyone.Sincerely,murphyslaw7:cool: I went through the same thing June of 2009 I was hurting about 2 weeks it started in my stomach like a very bad gas pain. I still did my regular duties throughout the day taking care of my 2 kids. It finally moved to my right side. My husband rushed me to the ER to find out that my appendix had already exploded inside me. I was on intense antibiotics for 2 day s before the surgeon decided to do surgery. I had to be on 3 different antibiotics because I am allergic to sulfur drugs and that is the best to give you for this type of infection. I would not have made it another day if I would not have went to the ER when I did. I stayed in the hospital for 7 days exactly on dimeral and phegan for pain. Now I have have 3 miscarriages since then please reply if you have had some similar problem. Thanks
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 17, 2010
    • 05:48 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Help, I think this same thing is going to happen to my friend. She has severe abdominal pain, headache, fever, etc. The urgent care did an ultrasound and told her she had a burst cyst, and two other twisted cysts which can cause all these problems. They also did some kind of appendicitis test and it came back inconclusive. So now they have sent her home. Her gynocologist is too busy to see her any time soon. She still in extreme pain that is not helped by percacet or vicodin. She still has a fever. Now she has pelvic bleeding. And she just told me that she has strange bruises all over. Apparently she started bruisng a few months ago. I don't know what's going on with her, but the doctors almost killed my mother when they thought her appendicitis was food poisoning and sent her home. I don't want the same thing that happened to my mom or to the people who have posted to happen to my friend. Something is seriously wrong with her, but no doctors will believe her. And she can't even get a new gyno because she can't find one that takes her crappy insurance Kaiser and she has no money to pay out of pocket. I am so frustrated and worried. Any suggestions?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Gosh I was so healthy before several days ago, never even knowing about ovarian cysts and all this 'normal' stuff that can go wrong and cause pain!Now yesterday (my 20th birthday no less!) I was diagnosed with a right ovarian cyst and told that it should go away on its own and it's nothing to worry about. BUT they also said my appendix was larger than normal, yet still assumed it was only a cyst! I'm now starting to get light cramps on my left side (where the left ovary would be) and wondering if it could be yet another one :[I just hope that it's not severe having to do with my appendix, what a bummer! I'm such a baby, I don't want to go through all that pain. If I even start to get slightly more discomfort than light cramping sensations I'm going to rush back to the hospital and make sure they do a thorough examination of my appendix.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 3, 2010
    • 06:57 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I had my operation 2 weeks ago now, I woke up in pain which stopped me from walking and wanting to be sick, I rang NHS Direct and they said get right to a doctor, I had signs of my appendix going but they weren't sure, I was rushed to hospital via an ambulance where the doctors still were not 100% sure what was up so left me over night to see if the pain would go as I was mid cycle. The next day, the pain was just as bad, I had a high temperature and a very high pulse, they rushed my into surgery where they flung a cyst on my Overy had burst and leaked and infection causing my pain, they removed my appendix also as the infection had got into it and would of caused it to go anyway.This was 2 weeks ago, I'm still in a lot if pain, have to walk very slowly or my 4 entrance scars hurt and my biggest one bleeds and now the pain in my lower right hand side had returned and causing me pain and making me wake up. I'm not tonsure what to do?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • My family doctor assured me that it was nothing to worry about...ovarian cysts are very common and often go away on their own. I sat in the office partially relieved that it was "just a cyst" that had been causing all my abdominal pain for the last few months. But something inside of me told me it wasn't that simple. I tried to believe him as I walked out of the office with my mom. Little did i know I was really dealing with a case of misdiagnosed appendicitis that would eventually rupture. I was 19, just finishing my first year of college. Off and on I had been dealing with constipation, diarrhea, and severe abdominal bloating and cramping. When the semester ended, I went to my MD who sent me for a series of tests. He suspected IBS, but needed to rule out any other issues. I went for an ultrasound, which discovered a large "cyst" on my right ovary. My pain was pretty intense, and the bloating continued. Because the ultrasound supposedly found the problem, my other tests were cancelled (upper and lower GI). My gynecologist saw me in the office and was surprised at the degree of pain i was having, but assured me I should wait a month and let it resolve. She gave me a Rx for pain meds and sent me home. I dont think a simple CBC was ever done.:confused: Over the next few weeks, my pain became more severe. It was never the typical appendicitis symptoms. The pain was diffuse, spread over the entire abdomen. I had bouts of diarrhea and constipation. My stomach was almost always very bloated. I began to have trouble walking, and all i wanted to do was lie on the couch with a heating pad (probably the worst thing to do with an appendix that was about to rupture). One night I suddenly had extremely severe, sharp pains that felt like my insides were being ripped apart. I could not sleep, and i hobbled downstairs to wake my mom up. I was crying, and I thought i might need to go to the hospital. I didnt know what I should do. My mom thought i was just overreacting (thinking it was a cyst) and told me to go back to bed. "I have to get up early. You need to go lie down and go to sleep" she said.:eek: :mad: I tried to sleep, but the pain was horrific. I laid on my bed and cried, in fetal position, with a heating pad for the next few hours. Finally around 6am i crawled down the steps and my dad was awake. He took me to the ER. At this point I thought i was about to die. I could not stand the pain any longer. The ER took me right away, but they still were suspecting the cyst. I had to go thru 2 pelvic exams that were very very painful, and my OBGYN came and told me she would laparoscopically remove the cyst. As i waited there, the most intense, sharp pains were going across my belly, and i coudlnt help but scream out in pain. I signed the papers and went to sleep for the surgery.When I woke up, i was in a hospital room with all my family around. They told me there was no cyst at all. Durign the surgery, they realized my appendix had already ruptured and severe peritonitis was spread across my abdominal cavity. I was on a morphine PCA for a week,and i showed little improvement. I had to endure about 4 or 5 upper GI's to try to find out why i wasnt improving, and 3 CT scans. They suspected Chron's disease or some other issue, but nothing was found. I spent 3 weeks total in the hospital, and the rest of the summer to recover. I could not walk more than 20 feet before i had to sit because of the pain. I also got a nice 6-7 inch scar that looks like i had a c-section. I didn't think I was going to recover enoguh to return to college in the fall. Nobody was sure why it was taking so long to recover, so in addition i had a colonoscopy and another CT to check for any abscesses or complications. None were found. Finally 3 months after my surgery, i was able to resume most activities. Im about 90% better now (it will be FIVE YEARS ago in June!). I still deal with constipation and irregularity, and some pain around the scar tissue in my lower abdomen. I was also warned that the scarring may make it difficult to get pregnant if i decide i want to. Just last week, the wife of a friend of my boyfriend just had her appendix burst too. She spent a week in the hospital and is home now. That is what prompted me to write about this.. Ive heard that misdiagnosis is common in women, and that women are often given diagnoses of OBGYN issues instead of appendicitis. I just want to iknow if anybody else has had similar experiences .. I wouldn't wish that terrifying experience on anyone.Sincerely,murphyslaw7:cool: Your font color is so light. Reduce it.
    jameskingama 1 Replies Flag this Response
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  • Thank you to everyone who posted here. My daughter was in the ER with an enlarged cyct and that was "the focus". After reading your posts, I asked them about the appendix and sure enough - it had to come out too. She is 19 and home recovering without the trauma that so many seem to have gone through. I wouldn't have pushed and am grateful that we checked thanks to all of you! She lost the ovary and appendix, but without a rupture of either.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi, I had a similar experience as these listed above. I started having pains in my lower abdomen one night and put it down to just my normal monthly pains. I was then taken to my local walk in centre the next day where they said to go straight to hospital as they suspected appendicitis. I then arrived at hospital and after 5 DAYS of being in agony, with my health deteriorating I was FINALLY diagnosed by persistence from my mother with an ovarian cyst. I was then transferred hospital and had surgery the next day. Unfortunately the cyst was so large they had to remove my whole ovary. At the time I was 16 and was left with a massive scar and deep trauma. I am in the process of suing as if they had done the tests sooner my surgeon said I would not have had to have it removed which has left me with difficulty in getting pregnant. Has anyone else had a similar experience as this?
    Anonymous 1 Replies
    • August 12, 2015
    • 10:18 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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