For many who choose elective surgery, we are excited about the probability of starting fresh with a new outlook on life. We’re confident that the surgery will make us feel and look better, and have faith in the surgeon who has outlined the process and outcome. Many cases are successful. But, in other cases, the patient is not so happy when something goes wrong during the operation. Botched surgery can lead to mutilation, deformities and scars that go beyond the surface of the skin, and affect the patient for many years, mentally and physically.
Surgeons who perform cosmetic surgery are in the forefront of these claims, many of whom are later found to not have any formal cosmetic surgery training, much to the horror and discomfort of their patients. One such case in Sacramento involved a surgeon promising “Mommy Makeovers.” Patients of his have since experienced surgery-caused deformation, numbness, nerve damage and paralysis. Outside of cosmetic surgery, surgical error can also be found when the wrong limbs are amputated or organs are removed from the wrong patient. Gastric bypass surgery is another such surgery where hope is promised after a lifelong struggle with weight, and after-surgery incidents lead to undesired conditions or even death. Other such surgical errors come in the forms of damage to internal and external organs, infection, subsequent surgeries, blood loss, blood clots, abscesses after surgery, and objects being left in the patient’s body. How can this happen?
The culprit in many cases is often miscommunication: medical records are inappropriately filed, data is entered incorrectly, samples or x-rays are mismarked. And, even nurses and doctors make mistakes when they confuse one patient for another in patient appointments and diagnoses. Error in diagnoses and delayed diagnoses can also lead to the improbability of a full recovery for the patient.
Any major surgery has risks, and a surgeon may lack the specific medical training to perform that type of surgery. Intensive research before you decide to move forward with the surgery is paramount. What are some steps we can take to ensure our safety during a major procedure? While the steps are many, here are just a few factors to consider:
- Know your surgeon. Ask him how many successful cases he has performed for this type of surgery.
- Know the hospital protocol in case a complication arises.
- Ask yourself whether you originally intended for the surgery to occur, or you were talked into it by your surgeon or someone else on the medical staff.
- Have you received a second opinion?Being aware of those points ahead of time will aid you in the process before the surgery, and assist you in recalling situations after the fact. Botched surgeries can cause years of pain and devastation to the injured party. If you have taken these precautions and still find yourself a victim of botched surgery, there are many elements that come into play when dealing with the medical community, and best dealt with through the knowledge and expertise of a firm committed and dedicated to medical malpractice lawsuits.