CHICAGO (Fox 32 News) - A suburban eye doctor is under fire for the pain he allegedly inflicted on a young woman after operating on the wrong eye, according to a lawsuit filed this week.
Sutton Dryfhout was 19-years-old when she says she was treated by Dr. Benjamin Ticho of Chicago Ridge.
"Operating on the wrong eye, and then doing another surgery in a non-sterile recovery room, it was hard to believe," said Valerie Leopold, the patient's attorney.
Dryfhout said she sought corrective treatment from the physician for a lazy eye and a cyst on her left eye. But when she woke up from surgery in August of 2017, she said, "there were bloody tears coming out of my right eye, there was a scratching sensation."
In her lawsuit, Dryfhout claims after the doctor realized he had operated on the wrong eye, he took non-sterile instruments from a prior surgery and tried to fix his mistake by operating in a recovery room without anesthesia.
"He had brought up a syringe and stuck it into my eye and I felt a burning sensation. I felt the needle go into my eye, it was hurting. I was telling him to stop and he wasn't stopping," she said.
Seeing her daughter was distraught, following the surgery, Dryfhout's mother Denise questioned the doctor and was startled by his response.
"I said, 'Sutton remembers you sticking a needle in her eye. Why did you do that?' And as he backed out of the room, he said, 'I didn't think she'd remember' -- and that was it."
Dryfhout says Dr. Ticho called her at home while she was recovering and told her she had to be put on antibiotics because of the procedure and then told her because the instruments he used were from a another patient, she needed HIV and hepatitis exposure blood testing.
Dryfhout is suing Dr. Ticho, along with The Eye Specialists Center where he works, an anesthesiologist and her practice. Dryfhout would not provide the name of the Chicago area hospital where the surgery was performed because it is not named in the lawsuit.
She is asking for more than $50,000 in damages. The exact amount will be determined by a jury.
FOX 32 reached out to Dr. Ticho's practice by email and phone for a response, but at the time of publication, had not received one.
"He is a pediatric surgeon, so he mainly operates on little kids and I didn't want another little kid to go through what I did," Dryfhout said.
“I was awake during the second surgery,” Dryfhout said in a statement. “I was screaming for him to stop. I could feel the needle going into my eye, see the scissors he was using and smell the cautery burning my eye."