Man Sues Over Removed Testicle

Kenneth Irby claims he told his doctor to only remove cancerous testicle.

April 23, 2010— -- Kenneth Irby feels like less of a man these days, and he blames the doctors who removed his right testicle because of a cancer prognosis, although a post-surgery test allegedly determined it was not cancerous.

"I just don't feel like I'm much of a man anymore," Irby told jurors in Pima County Superior Court according to his attorney Michael Kelly.

Irby, 23, is suing University Physicians Healthcare, the physicians group related to the University Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz., for negligence in a trial that began Wednesday.

Irby was in a car accident in 2007, and according to court documents he started experiencing pain in his testicles several hours after arriving at University Medical Center. He underwent an ultrasound, and the hospital informed him they discovered a mass that could be cancerous and he needed to undergo a biopsy, Irby said in testimony this week.

Irby then met with Dr. Jonathan Walker several weeks after the accident to discuss his options, and Irby claims in court documents that Walker told him they would conduct a biopsy and only remove his right testicle if it turned out to be cancerous.

Before the surgery, a second ultrasound was conducted which showed that the mass had changed, the lawsuit claims. The suit claims that Irby was not advised that the mass could simply be a hematoma, and that the change in the mass should have been cause for the hospital to give Irby a few more days to see what was going on. Instead, the suit states, the hospital told Irby he needed to have the surgery that day and Irby complied.

Irby said when woke up after surgery and discovered his right testicle had been removed, he assumed it had been cancerous and even "shook the doctor's hand" for saving his life, Kelly confirmed his client testified.

His feelings of relief quickly changed when he was informed a week later that the biopsy had been performed after the testicle had been removed, and it turned out to be a hematoma, not cancer, Irby said in court.

Hospital records filed in court, however, contradict Irby's claims. According to the records, Irby was informed by Walker that he needed to conduct a biopsy after the testicle was removed, not before, and records also indicate Irby told a nurse he needed to have a testicle removed before the surgery as well.

Kenneth Irby Claims Hospital Removed Testicle Unnecessarily

Documents filed by Kathleen Rogers and Tom Slutes, attorneys for University Physicians Health Care, say that Irby was told prior to surgery the doctors would not be able to perform a biopsy without removing the testicle out of fear of spreading any cancer present, and that Irby was also informed there was a 5 percent chance the mass was benign.

Irby insisted in his testimony, however, he was not informed they had to remove the testicle in order to perform the biopsy, and he was not given a full understanding of his options. Irby also says in his filings his testicle never did in fact undergo a biopsy as he had been told, but it was instead sent off to a lab for a pathology report.

Irby has suffered "physical pain, and loss, mental and emotional anguish, pain, grief, sorrow, and loss of enjoyment of life as a result of their negligence," the complaint states.

According to Kelly, a tearful Irby told jurors that he now doesn't have much of a social life, and doesn't want to tell his 7-year-old son what happened because he "doesn't want him to look at him differently.

"I feel like I've lost my sexuality, like I've lost a part of myself," Irby said in court.

A representative for the University Medical Center had no comment on the suit.