Health

Veteran Sues VA Hospital After Delay Of Care Leads To Penis Amputation

| by Kathryn Schroeder

A Vietnam veteran is suing the VA hospital that allegedly did not treat him for a disfiguring cancer that led to the loss of his penis.

Veteran Bill Kessler of Dayton, Ohio, went to see his primary doctor at the Dayton VA in early 2010 when he found a lump on his penis.

"And I went to the primary care doctor, he examined me and said, 'I think its just a cyst,'” Kessler said.

Kessler claims the doctor told him to not worry about it any further.

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When the supposed cyst did not go away and another lump formed he returned to the doctor.

"Well, then one lump turned into two lumps, and I started to complain and showed him, because I was starting to bleed," Kessler says.

A procedure was recommended by the doctor that would look inside his urethra, reports RTV 6 ABC, but Kessler was told the scopes at the Dayton VA were broken and had been sent out for repair.

A third lump soon developed.

"And that's when it started bleeding continuously,” Kessler said.

The VA did try to outsource the procedure to other facilities, but the appointments were canceled.

It reportedly took nearly a year before the doctor suggested procedure was performed on Kessler.

Cancerous lesions were discovered and Kessler was sent to a surgeon in Cincinnati.

"(He) took one look at it and said that's go to go now. So they did a penectomy on me," Kessler said.

Kessler’s medical records at the VA admit “there was a delay in his diagnosis,” reports ABC 6 On Your Side.

An apology was offered to Kessler, but he does not believe that is enough after his cancer and penis amputation.

"There's so much bureaucracy and craziness that goes on...people that just don't give a dam about the veterans," Kessler said.

The Dayton VA would not comment on the case due to HIPAA laws but patient advocates are going to contact Kessler.