Whether evocative of the "bicameral mind" or merely an errant flip of the X-ray, surgeons and nurses left a patient speechless and wheelchair-bound last month in St. Louis after operating on the wrong side of her brain.

Regina Turner, 53-years-old, of St. Ann, MO, received a craniotomy bypass on the right side of her brain, rather than the left. The surgery was intended to stop a series of mini-strokes she had suffered from during the past several years.

Turner's attorney, Alvin Wofff, filed a medical malpractice suit Friday against SSM Health Care St. Louis and Dr. Armond Levy, the neurosurgeon who presided over the botched operation at SSM St. Clare Health Center in Fenton, MO.

"I think everybody in the operating room screwed up. I think somehow her head was marked for the correct side," Wolff said. "The incorrect side was prepped for surgery. A whole surgery was performed, and nobody noticed that the side was wrong."

According to the Journal of Neurosurgery, Wolff told media, 35 wrong-side craniotomies have occurred in the United States.

"Sometimes the X-rays can be flipped," he said. "Sometimes the doctor doesn't look at the medical records. Sometimes the surgery comes off late and everybody's in a rush. Sometimes, if a doctor has a whole lot of surgeries, let's say he's got eight knees to do that day, and he's got four right knees and four left knees, and the first knee cancels and they start moving everybody up, the wrong knee goes in the wrong room."

Though Turner was able to walk prior to the operation, she is now restricted to a wheelchair and her speech is garbled. Amy Gunn, a personal injury lawyer not involved with the case, said patients must often conduct their own research when evaluating a potential surgery. "Every mistake that goes on in a hospital, I don't think there's any mechanism in place for publicly reporting anything like that," Gunn said. She suggested patients visit the state court and hospital records websites to check for malpractice suits filed against doctors and hospitals, in addition to the state medical licensure office.

"Sometimes you just have to trust that you're going to a good place and being taken care of," Gunn said.

In an attempt to correct the mistake, surgeons performed a second operation two days later, though Turner's long-term prognosis is unknown.

Chris Howard, president and CEO of SSM Health Care, released this statement:

"St. Louis SSM Health Care and SSM St. Clare Health Center sincerely apologize for the wrong-site surgery in our operating room. This was a breakdown in our procedures, and it absolutely should not have happened. We apologized to the patient and continue to work with the patient and family to resolve this issue with fairness and compassion. We immediately began an investigation. We have since taken steps to be even more vigilant to prevent such an error from happening again.

"Medicine is a human endeavor, and sadly, people and systems are not perfect. When an error occurs, it is tragic for the patient, their loved ones and the medical team.

"Our SSM St. Clare Health Center team is made up of dedicated health care professionals who are devastated. We can and will do better. That is our commitment to the community."

In 2012, The Joint Commission looked at 109 cases nationwide under the wrong-patient, wrong-site, wrong-procedure category. It is the second most reviewed category, following objects left behind in a patient.