What to Do When a Surgery Goes Wrong

Updated on April 19, 2021

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Medical science has given us everything we need for leading healthy lives. However, using the newest tools and approaches does not necessarily mean that there’s no room for human error. It’s true that medical innovations have saved countless lives, but there are occasions when patients experience greater suffering after a failed medical procedure, especially a surgical operation. Whether you are having your hip replaced or getting your nose lifted, you need to protect your rights as a patient and demand accountability when the procedure fails. Here are a few tips to keep in mind during the aftermath of a surgical error:

1. Know the nature of the error

Surgeons are trained to perform even the most delicate procedures. They follow standards of patient safety and professionalism. However, there are cases when the surgeon overlooks certain details, causing undue harm to patients. Such scenarios include operating on the wrong site and mishandling in administering anesthesia. Your complaint should include the nature of the error as well as its immediate and long-term effects on your health.

2. Find a basis for negligence

Most errors occur due to negligence. Surgeons are obligated to follow standards in their practice, but some could still end up making lapses of judgment. With that being said, they should know the nature of their profession and they have a duty to prevent any possibility of making a grave mistake. You will need to establish that there was a failure to protect you from risk. Whether there is a failure to sanitize surgical tools or a lack of foresight of possible complications, you will need to include all of these in your complaint. 

3. Find the right attorney

If the error has left you with extensive physical and financial damage, taking legal action is your best option at this point. For that, you will need to hire a medical malpractice lawyer who has experience working on surgical mishaps before. Considering the dynamics of your case, you may have to find someone who can secure a larger compensation to cover the emotional and physical damages you have undergone. You can start by asking for referrals or reach out to other victims of surgical malpractice.  

4. Get as much evidence as possible

Through your attorney, you should be able to gather concrete proof that will strengthen your case against the surgeon and institution responsible for the mishap. For this, consider looking for documents such as medical records, receipts, and bills. You can also gather testimonies from witnesses during the operation, provide X-rays, and records showing an attempt for a corrective procedure. To strengthen your case further, consider getting an expert witness to take the stand and give insights proving negligence. 

Whether it involves removing an impacted wisdom tooth or sealing up a gunshot wound, a surgery requires skills and concentration. Surgeons are trained to follow best practices and standards, so it’s important that you hold them accountable for breaching these expectations. 

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.