When Are Abdominal Surgery Complications the Result of Medical Malpractice?


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Bowel resection surgery, also called a colectomy or ileostomy, is a fairly common procedure despite being a highly invasive surgery. This type of surgery is usually a response to a serious medical condition. The nature of bowel resection surgery is itself very serious, which means that any mistakes that are made during the procedure can lead to severe, long-term complications. Unfortunately, there are cases that leave patients to suffer for the rest of their lives from the devastating effects of negligence that occur during these procedures.

What Is Bowel Resection Surgery?

Bowel resection surgery is a procedure that involves the removal of a damaged area of the colon. It is considered to be a drastic surgery that is typically performed as a last resort. Some of the conditions that may lead to bowel resection surgery include:

  • Colon cancer
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Colon injury or damage
  • Non-cancerous growths and polyps
  • Scar tissue

In the surgery, the surgeon will remove the damaged portion of the colon, and then attach the remaining sections. These surgeries can be performed on the small or the large intestine. In some cases, the procedure can be done laparoscopically, which is far less invasive, but more often it involves the abdomen being cut open to expose the intestines. There are cases in which a resection isn’t possible, and the procedure must be modified to implement an external waste management system via a stoma in the abdomen.

What Are The Risks Of Bowel Resection Surgery?

Because a bowel resection operation is a sensitive procedure, there are many risks of which patients need to be aware. While these risks and complications may occur during any surgery, surgeons are trained to avoid them if at all possible and inform the patient if any of them are present during or after the surgery. The risks of bowel resection surgery include:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Infection
  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Respiratory problems
  • Blood clots
  • Perforation of stomach or intestines
  • Reopening of resealed intestines
  • Damage to bladder or spleen
  • Damage to uterus or ovaries
  • Incisional hernia
  • Scar tissue which causes intestinal blockage

If you or a loved one has suffered any of the above after bowel resection surgery, it could have been caused by medical negligence. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you determine whether your case was a result of malpractice.

What Are The Most Common Colon Surgery Mistakes?

There are always serious risks associated with abdominal surgeries. But those risks can be greatly exacerbated by negligence on the part of doctors, surgeons, or other medical staff. For example, during colon surgery, a surgeon may mistakenly nick or otherwise cause damage to adjacent organs or tissues. Additionally, the surgeon may fail to inspect the bowel thoroughly for complications before completing the surgery, which can also lead to serious consequences. Additional surgical errors that happen during bowel resection surgery include:

  • Failing to resect all unhealthy portions of bowel
  • Failing to diagnose a perforation of the bowel
  • Unnecessarily resecting healthy parts of the bowel
  • Failing to ensure a patent connection (anastomosis)

While not all injuries that occur during bowel resection surgeries can be attributed to medical negligence, when they occur because a doctor doesn’t adhere to the accepted standard of care, he or she may be held liable for the physical, mental, and monetary damages the patient suffers.

Let Ross Feller Casey Fight For Your Interests

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to bowel resection surgery, and you believe it was due to negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. No one should have to endure the pain and suffering caused by medical malpractice, and while a financial recovery may not be able to take the physical pain away, it will help ease the financial burden you have incurred and that you may continue to incur.

At Ross Feller Casey, we have a team of highly experienced medical malpractice attorneys who have helped people in cases just like yours. We always fight for the interests of our clients and have a successful track record of winning large verdicts for suffering families. Let us help you with your case.

Contact our office today to schedule a free review of your case. We have doctors on-staff to evaluate medical records to help determine where negligence has occurred. Additionally, we handle all medical malpractice cases on a contingency basis, so you don’t pay until we receive a financial recovery.

About the Author

A leading physician and national medical expert, Dr. Charles H. Bowers, Jr., joined Ross Feller Casey’s Medical Forensic Evaluations Department in 2012.

Charles Bowers

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