When a patient seeks or requires a surgical procedure, they are
typically informed about the inherent risks associated with any
surgical procedure. Virtually all surgeries carry a very small risk
of anesthesia reactions, blood clots, infection, cardiovascular
complications, and healing complications. Patients who undergo
surgery, however, do not typically anticipate surgical errors.
Surgical patients reasonably believe that the surgeon and medical
team performing the procedure are competent, experienced, and
prudent enough to perform the surgery without committing surgical
Unfortunately, surgical errors are not as uncommon as many would
like to believe. Thousands of people are injured every year by
surgical errors related to medical negligence. Medical negligence,
or malpractice, involves a medical professional's failure to
exercise the skill, care, and prudence necessary to prevent causing
a patient injury or illness. Surgical errors are some of the most
shocking and devastating of all medical mistakes.
Surgical errors may be traced to poor pre-operative planning or
care. Prior to surgery, a doctor should fully evaluate a patient's
current health and medical history, use of medications, relevant
lifestyle choices (i.e. smoking, alcohol use), and their family
history. Surgeons performing elective surgery (cosmetic procedures)
should also have a thorough understanding of the patient's aesthetic
goals. A surgeon should make sure that the procedure planned is
safe, appropriate, and in the best interest of the patient. The
surgeon planning to perform the surgery should be competent and
experienced enough to ensure that there is a negligible risk of
A majority of surgical errors occur during the procedure itself.
Surgical errors involving anesthesia are often life threatening,
posing the risk of permanent brain damage, asphyxia, coma, organ
damage, cardiovascular problems, and death. Incorrect incisions, the
use of un-sterile equipment, damage (i.e. puncture or perforation)
to nearby organs, nerve damage, and prolonged surgery are examples
of the most common devastating surgical errors made by negligent,
careless, or inexperienced medical professionals.
Some cases of medical malpractice involve surgical instruments or
sponges being left in a patient to cause serious post-operative
damage. Between 60 and 70 cases of wrong site surgery are reported
every year. One of the most drastic of surgical errors, wrong site
surgery involves operating on the wrong part of a patient or the
wrong patient altogether.
Surgical errors can also occur in the post-operative phase.
Substandard aftercare can lead to infection, septic shock, delayed
healing, and other life threatening medical consequences.
While surgical errors can be made during any procedure, they are
more likely during gastric bypass surgery, laparoscopic procedures,
plastic surgery, and obstetric procedures. If you or a loved one has
suffered personal injury caused by surgical errors, please contact
us to speak with a qualified and experienced medical malpractice
attorney who can evaluate your case to determine your legal rights
Contact us by
Email or call us today at (401) 788-0600 to speak with a
someone from our firm..