Lawsuit: SW Suburban Doctor Operated on Wrong Eye, Tried to Fix Mistake With No Anesthesia

The woman says the doctor operated on her right eye instead of her left, then performed the right procedure without anesthesia

A woman is suing a southwest suburban doctor for allegedly performing surgery on the wrong eye, then trying to fix his mistake without anesthesia in 2017.

Sutton Dryfhout filed the suit Monday in Cook County Circuit Court, claiming that Dr. Benjamin Ticho operated on her right eye on Aug. 21, 2017, after she signed forms consenting to a surgery to remove a cyst and correct a wandering left eye.

Dryfhout, then 19, woke up in a recovery room and noticed that her right eye was in pain and bleeding, rather than her left eye, according to a statement from her attorneys. When she brought the mistake to the nurse’s attention, the nurse called Ticho.

Ticho came into the recovery room, told the nurse he “forgot something” and asked the nurse to hold Dryfhout down while he operated on her left eye, according to the suit.

“I was awake during the second surgery,” Dryfhout said in the statement. “I was screaming for him to stop. I could feel the needle going into my eye, see the scissors he was using and smell the cautery burning my eye.”

The suit also alleges that Ticho performed the second surgery in an unsterile recovery room using unsterilized instruments he’d brought with him from another surgery room.

Dryfhout had signed consent forms before her surgery authorizing Ticho to operate on her under anesthesia to “revise one muscle, left eye” and “excision of conjunctival cyst, left eye,” according to the suit. She signed consent forms for Dr. Colette Major to administer anesthesia for the same procedures.

The lawsuit accuses Ticho of altering the surgery consent form after the second operation, crossing out “left” and writing in “right” and having Dryfhout’s mother initial the form.

The suit claims Dryfhout suffers from problems including double vision and recurring headaches because of the surgeries, as well as a re-occurrence of the cyst in her left eye. She is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.

The lawsuit accuses Ticho and his practice, Chicago Ridge-based The Eye Specialists Center, of negligence, medical battery, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Mark Sarnov, administrator of The Eye Specialists Center, declined to comment about the suit Thursday.

It also names Major and her practice, Midwest Anesthesiologists Ltd., as defendants and charges them with negligence. Midwest Anesthesiologists is based in Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

Representatives for Midwest Anesthesiologists and Advocate Health did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday.

Both Ticho and Major have active licenses as surgeons and physicians, according to Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation records. Neither of them has ever been disciplined by the department.

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