In recently filed court documents, a woman claims she can no longer eat solid foods after a doctor damaged the nerves in the back of her throat during a tonsillectomy.

Mary Ann Rodgers filed a lawsuit Feb. 22 in Madison County Circuit Court against Dr. Aayasha M. Kahn, Alton Multispecialists, Certified Nurse Leah Baecht and Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George Province St. Elizabeth doing business as St. Anthony’s Health Center.

In her complaint, Rodgers alleges she underwent a tonsillectomy, septoplasty and inferior turbinate reduction at St. Anthony’s Health Center. During the medical procedures, Kahn attempted to remove Rodgers’s tonsils, to straighten her nasal septum and to correct nasal obstruction issues, according to the complaint.

However, Kahn permanently injured Rodgers’s glossopharyngeal nerve during the surgery, the suit states. The nerve contributes to the tastes of the mouth and swallowing.

In turn, Rodgers has experienced difficulties swallowing and has been able to eat only liquids and pureed foods since the procedures, the complaint says.

“Plaintiff also suffers from reflux of food and liquids into her nasopharynx, has had her speech altered and has severe pain in her posterior tongue as a result of Dr. Aayasha Kahn’s medical negligence,” the suit states.

Rodgers blames Kahn for causing her injuries, saying the doctor negligently failed to conform to known surgical planes when performing a tonsillectomy, failed to diagnose the nerve damage after the procedure was performed and recommended a tonsillectomy when such a surgery was not necessary.

Rodgers also names Alton Multispecialists as a defendant, saying it employed Kahn at the time of the surgery.

Baecht is named as a defendant because she performed anesthesiology services before the procedure, which contributed to her nerve damages, the complaint says.

In her complaint, Rodgers seeks a judgment of more than $250,000.

Robert D. Rowland of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville and Dave Dugan of Dave Dugan Law in East Alton will be representing her.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-287

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