A Janesville woman who says a Mercyhealth doctor removed her ovaries without telling her he was going to do so is suing for malpractice.

Melissa A. Hubbard filed the lawsuit in Rock County Court on Oct. 26 and amended it Dec. 4. It alleges she underwent bowel surgery last February, but her ovaries were removed during the procedure, something Dr. Michael McGauley never mentioned could happen, according to the lawsuit.

McGauley is an osteopathic surgeon whose specialties include robotic surgery, according to the Mercyhealth website.

McGauley performed the robotic-assisted laparoscopic colon resection, according to the suit.

A bowel resection is the removal of a portion of the colon. Laparoscopic surgery, sometimes called keyhole surgery, is a procedure performed with a small incision.

“McGauley breached his duty to disclose to Hubbard before her surgery that such surgery may have included the removal of her ovaries,” the suit claims.

“While Mercyhealth generally does not comment on the specific care aspects involving our patients, we can state that Ms. Hubbard’s allegations as to the lack of informed consent are inconsistent with Mercyhealth practice,” Mercyhealth Vice President Barb Bortner said when asked for comment.

“The lawsuit against Dr. McGauley is completely without merit, and we fully expect that Mercyhealth and Dr. McGauley will prevail in defending the quality and appropriateness of his care,” Bortner added in a prepared statement.

Hubbard and her husband were planning to have children, so she would have refused to have the surgery if McGauley had told her that removal of her ovaries might be required, the suit states.

As a result, she suffered permanent injury, the suit states.

The suit asks for McGauley to pay the costs of the lawsuit and whatever other “relief” the court decides to impose.

McGauley responded in November, filing a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, saying Wisconsin law does not include “negligent misrepresentation” as a cause for a malpractice action.

Judge Derrick Grubb has ordered Hubbard to file a response to the motion to dismiss by Jan. 2 and McGauley to respond by Jan. 17.

The lawsuit indicates an earlier attempt was made to resolve the issues in mediation.

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