Home >  News >  December, 2014

Widow Says Internal Bleeding After Hernia Repair Killed Husband

Her lawsuit identifies missed opportunities to prevent the tragedy.

Published: December 3, 2014

Milton Surcouf went to East Jefferson Ambulatory Surgery Center in Gretna, La., in October 2010 to undergo laparoscopic hernia repair. Five days later he was dead, the apparent victim of intra-abdominal internal bleeding. Now, according to a published report, his wife is seeking undisclosed compensation from the surgery center and her husband's physicians, who she says should have noticed the bleeding long before it became fatal.

The report says Mr. Surcouf was discharged the day of surgery, Oct. 7, but became faint and was unable to urinate later that night. His family took him to the emergency room at East Jefferson General Hospital, where his condition stabilized. The next day, Mr. Surcouf's family contacted his cardiologist, who told them to restart blood-thinning therapy, notes the report.

Three days later, Mr. Surcouf was back in the emergency room, disoriented and pale, his genitals swollen and black, says the report. The visit revealed the internal bleeding that apparently took his life.

According to the report, Mr. Surcouf's family is accusing East Jefferson Ambulatory Surgery Center, general surgeon Joseph F. Uddo Jr., MD, and cardiologist Roland J. Bourgeois Jr., MD, of improper care, failing to properly report and monitor Mr. Surcouf's condition, failing to consult appropriate physicians and specialists, failing to request proper testing and lab tests, and failing to communicate amongst themselves.

The administrator of the East Jefferson Surgery Center and Dr. Bourgeois did not immediately return calls seeking comment. Dr. Uddo declined to comment, citing pending litigation.

Daniel Cook


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