After enduring an hour-long session with a transvaginal ultrasound, patient Marianne Keith, 52, claims she was left with internal injuries and mental and physical pain. Keith and her husband are now suing Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill., citing medical battery.
Said Keith, "It felt like I was being raped, like somebody was intentionally hurting me … After I left the hospital, I knew by how much pain I was in that something was done to me”
Keith states that the ultrasound was unlike any of the several she has experienced in the past, and that she only consented to a procedure like the one she was familiar with. In contrast, she claims that this ultrasound was performed by a technician who "repeatedly jammed the probe" into her cervix.
Transvaginal ultrasounds are typically used to detect fetal heartbeats and check for certain medical conditions. Keith had complained to her doctor of abdominal pain, upset stomach and dizziness, which is why he recommended the procedure.
According to court documents, "Condell, by and through its agents, performed the ultrasound by placing a condom over a probe and inserting the protected probe into plaintiff vaginally. Condell, for the period of approximately one hour, repeatedly jammed the probe in to various internal portions of the plaintiff's vagina, including her cervix, causing her injury, pain and discomfort.”
Keith now claims to have nightmares over the incident, and her sex life with her husband has suffered.
Some states have recently mandated transvaginal ultrasounds for patients requesting abortions. Arizona, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas have already passed such laws, while other states have openly contemplated them.
Although not all ultrasounds are as excruciating as Keith’s most recent experience, she admits that the procedure is never an enjoyable experience. Said Keith, "Even if it's done the way that it should be done, it's so intrusive."