Modern surgical technique has been revolutionized by small cameras stuck into the body through tiny slits. These allow big operations to be done with the only evidence later being an inch-long scar or two. But the new technology carries a price: injuries when surgeons misidentify anatomy – and then cut the wrong thing — or don’t realize they have damaged a vital structure. This can spell medical malpractice when the patient suffers a serious preventable injury.
Injury can happen in any kind of laparascopic surgery. But injuries are more common when a surgeon is starting to learn laparoscopic techniques. Many older surgeons have learned laparoscopy only “on the job” because it didn’t exist when they did their formal training. So one important issue in any malpractice lawsuit for a laparoscopic surgical error is the surgeon’s volume of cases, complication rate, and what was revealed to the patient beforehand.
The laparoscopic surgeon is supposed to recognize injury during the operation. Usually a specialist is then called into the OR to repair the damage – whether it is to a nerve, blood vessel, bowel or another structure. Malpractice can occur when the surgeon:
- Fails to notice and correct an injury, especially if it is a common one like a nick to a bowel;
- Fails to call in a specialist if the surgeon lacks solid experience in repairing this kind of injury;
- Fails to monitor the patient’s condition closely after surgery and move aggressively at the first sign that there may have been an injury.
- Fails to correctly use antibiotics to protect against infection.
Consult with an Experienced Malpractice Attorney
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