Surgical Errors & Complications

In today’s fast-paced world of medicine, surgical errors and complications are bound to happen. Thousands of surgeries are performed each year in hospitals and surgical centers throughout the U.S. With so many surgeries, it is inevitable that a surgeon, operating nurse, anesthesiologist, resident or staff member will eventually make a medical mistake resulting in a surgical error and a complication.

If you have come to this website, you probably have important questions about surgical errors and complications made in your operation or the operation of someone you care about. If that’s the case, we are here to help.

First, it is important to realize that not all bad surgical outcomes are medical malpractice. Surgery is never easy, and surgical errors and complications can be unavoidable parts of the risks of surgery. While both doctors and patients hope for a good surgical outcome, there are always risks and no guarantees that a surgery will be mistake free. So, if a bad outcome occurs, how do you really know if a medical mistake was made or if the bad outcome was inevitable?

Below are some questions a New Jersey medical malpractice attorney can help you answer about surgical errors and complications.

Did the surgeon make an error or medical mistake during surgery?

Most times, surgical errors and complications are not admitted by surgeons or described in medical records. As you probably suspect, surgeons rarely, if ever, admit they made a medical mistake or surgical error during an operation. Because of the medical culture, nurses and other personnel in the operating room will also rarely report that a doctor made a medical mistake or surgical error during a patient’s surgery.
Although all surgeons are required by law to dictate a detailed medical report describing the surgey that was performed, most times medical mistakes or surgical errors are not described in the report.Instead, these reports will detail a flawless surgery without surgical errors or medical mistakes even if there was a medical complication and a bad outcome. Therefore, there will rarely be any written record of whether an error was made.

In all my years of practice, I have seen very few instances where the operative report reveals a surgical error or medical mistake. Other times, the surgeon may not even realize that a surgical error or complication occurred during surgery. So, when the operative report is dictated, there is no mention of any surgical errors or medical mistakes.

Surgical error and complication cases require a New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer who understands where and what to look for in order to prove that a surgical error was made or medical malpractice occurred.
If surgical errors and complications have occurred in your operation or a loved one’s operation, please talk to us. At no charge to you, we will perform an analysis of the surgery and medical care and give you the answers you seek. Many times, we determine that the surgeon did not commit medical malpractice.
This information usually provides patients with peace of mind and closure following a bad surgical outcome. These patients can take comfort in knowing that their surgeon was not negligent.

When surgical errors and complications occur, many patients will never know the medical mistake was made unless a proper legal investigation has been done by an experienced trial lawyer who knows how to determine whether a mistake was made.

The New Jersey medical malpractice attorneys at the Mininno Law Offices handle all aspects of cases involving surgical errors and medical mistakes, including:

Wrong site surgery (including wrong surgical procedure)
Wrong patient surgery
Incorrect incision
Instrument left in the body
Poor pre-operative care (including wrong anesthesia administration, medication errors, diagnostic errors, failure to obtain proper consent and hasty preparation)
Use of unsanitary surgical utensils/equipment
Organ puncture or perforation
Delayed or prolonged surgery
Unnecessary surgery
Ghost Surgery

Was the surgeon properly trained and experienced in the surgery?

Another question I hear all the time after a medical complication occurs is, “Was this the first time my surgeon performed this type of surgery?” First, this is a question that all patients should ask before agreeing to surgery. However, if a surgical error or medical mistake does occur, a New Jersey medical malpractice attorney will investigate and look at both a surgeon’s training and experience.

Although surgeons are supposed to be highly trained, skilled and experienced in the surgery they are performing, there is always a learning curve that all surgeons must follow. We look first to see if the surgeon has performed your surgery one time or 100 times. This is an important clue because the risks associated with surgery are far greater with an inexperienced surgeon.

Was the surgery necessary?

Sadly, although most surgeons are ethical and honest, some unscrupulous surgeons will perform unnecessary surgery solely for the money they can earn from the insurance company. This conduct is medically unethical and should be investigated.
Here, we will retain highly trained and respected doctors to help us determine if the surgery was necessary. We will help you make a decision regarding your rights.

Determining whether the surgeon was properly trained and determining whether the surgery was necessary are just two of many reasons why surgical errors and complications occur.

Complications can happen for many other reasons. Therefore, a medical mistake should be investigated by an experienced New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer. There are many reasons why a surgical error may be medical malpractice. For example, many times we find that a surgeon is tired, over worked and fatigued. Other times our investigation reveals that surgical staff members were poorly trained or the operating room personnel were unfamiliar with the operative procedure.

Worse, sometimes surgeons permit medical students or interns to perform surgery without getting the patient’s permission or consent. This is called “ghost surgery,” where the attending surgeon allows a junior attending or resident to perform the surgery without ever revealing this in the record or telling the patient. Sadly, many patients are the victim of this practice every day.

Other common surgical errors and complications arise because of improper positioning of the patient on the operating room table, failure to monitor vital signs, improper use of medications, or improper surgical technique or use of instruments. So-called “non-invasive” surgery involving the laparoscope has also increased the potential for surgical errors and complications. Even a skilled and experienced surgeon that has been operating for decades can be a relative “rookie” when it comes to the use of the laparoscope.

If a surgical error or medical mistake occurs during this type of “non-invasive” surgery, a New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer can also analyze whether the surgeon was experienced and properly trained in the use of the laparoscope or whether the surgeon negligently operated the laparoscope during the surgery.

Surgical errors and complications can potentially take place in this country every day.

What are the consequences of surgical errors and complications?

While surgical errors and complications are never intentional, these medical mistakes can have serious consequences, including:

Amputation of wrong body part
Bowel injures
Birth injures
Deformation and disfigurement
Loss of sensation
Brain damage

After such an ordeal, it is natural to wonder, “Do I have a case?”, “Was my doctor negligent?” or “What are my rights?” We are here to answer those important questions.

Can I trust my New Jersey Medical malpractice attorney to prove that a surgical error or medical mistake occurred during my surgery?

Our firm has extensive experience in evaluating surgical error cases in the New Jersey and Philadelphia regional area. This experience has directly resulted in successful results for our clients. We have a unique team of medical and legal professionals that work together to prepare your case. Our medical expertise puts our clients at an advantage when taking on hospitals and medical facilities with significant resources. Our New Jersey civil trial attorneys break down the law aspects of your case.

Unlike most firms, you will have direct access to a medical professional who will answer your questions about surgical errors and complications. These professionals will provide helpful resources while you may still be recovering from a surgical injury.
Furthermore, you will have the benefit of working with experienced and distinguished certified New Jersey civil trial attorneys who deal specifically in the area of medical malpractice & negligence in New Jersey. This is important because medical malpractice lawsuits can be very complicated and require knowledge of medical and scientific concepts in addition to having exceptional trial skills.

Do you have any other questions? Get free help now

We have tried to answer some of the basic questions most people have when they consider whether they need a medical malpractice attorney. But, we are available to answer any other questions you may have. Just send us a question on the form to the left and we will give you an answer.
Or, if you would like to speak immediately with a New Jersey malpractice lawyer, you can call (856) 833-0600. If you would like to speak to a Pennsylvania lawyer, you may call (215) 567-2380.

(c) Copyright 2011 Mininno Law Office