Every operation carries some type of risk.  However, many of these risks can be alleviated through competent surgical care.  Surgical errors can occur any time during the operation or during pre- or post-operative care.  They can take the form of injuries to nearby structures, hemorrhage, infections, surgery on the wrong side of the body, surgery on the wrong organ, or organ perforation.  Surgical errors can occur during any type of surgical procedure and they can result from anything including a doctor using contaminated instruments or leaving sponges in the body.

When you go in for a surgery, it can be reasonably expected that the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and other health care professionals present will be careful.  However, this is not always the case.  Thousands of people every year are affected by surgical errors that could have been prevented, a common form of medical malpractice.  Surgical errors can occur during any operation, no matter how routine it is.  Surgical errors may occur during:

  • Blepharoplasty;
  • Cardiac Surgery;
  • Childbirth;
  • Colon/Rectal Surgery;
  • Elective Plastic Surgery;
  • ENT/Head and Neck Surgery;
  • Gallbladder Surgery;
  • Gastric Bypass;
  • Gastrointestinal Surgery;
  • Gynecologic Surgery;
  • Hernia Surgery;
  • Laparoscopic Surgery;
  • Neurological Surgery;
  • Ophthalmologic Surgery;
  • Orthopedic Surgery;
  • Plastic Surgery;
  • Robotic Surgery;
  • Spinal Surgery;
  • Thoracic Surgery;
  • Urologic Surgery; and
  • Vascular Surgery.

It is also important to note that unnecessary surgical procedures are also considered surgical errors.

Types of Surgical Errors

Surgical errors can also happen during the surgical procedure as well as post-operatively.  They can include:

  • Anesthesia errors;
  • Delayed corrective surgery;
  • Incorrect incisions;
  • Leaving surgical instruments or sponges within the body;
  • Operating on the wrong body part or patient;
  • Organ puncture or laceration; and
  • Performing the wrong procedure.

Complications from Surgical Errors

Complications resulting from surgical errors are varied and depend on the mistake that occurred.  Complications may include:

  • Bleeding;
  • Blood clots;
  • Brain damage;
  • Cardiovascular problems;
  • Coma;
  • Death;
  • Delayed healing;
  • Nerve damage;
  • Organ damage;
  • Paralysis;
  • Physical deformity;
  • Post-surgical infections;
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder;
  • Psychological and emotional problems; and
  • Septic shock.

Surgical Complications – Post-Operative

The type of surgery that was performed determines the post-operative surgical complications.  These types of complications can occur either immediately after the surgery has taken place or weeks/months later.  Common post-operative surgical complications include:

  • Adverse drug events;
  • Atrial fibrillation;
  • Deep vein thrombosis;
  • Disordered healing;
  • Hemorrhage;
  • Infection;
  • Pain;
  • Pneumonia and other respiratory complications;
  • Thromboembolism; and
  • Urinary problems, including renal failure.

Living with a Surgical Error

There are a range of outcomes that can result from surgical errors.  These outcomes often leave a patient with lifelong complications.  A new way of living must be adapted to by the victim and their family.  Wages may also be lost.  A team of highly competent physicians, nurses, therapists, and counselors may be needed to assist in the victim’s recovery. 

Some victims are able to return to their pre-surgery way of life.  However, other struggle with a permanent disability, chronic pain and suffering, and shorter life spans.  There are also cases where the victim dies.  When this occurs the family is left with the sudden loss of their loved one.  They also lose their family member’s financial support, funeral and medical expenses, loss of inheritance, and in cases where children are involved, the loss of nurture and guidance from the deceased parent.

The Hudson surgical error attorneys at Greenberg and Greenberg handle cases throughout New York State, including Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, and Albany County.  Our legal team has earned a reputation for dedicated service to our clients injured in New York personal injury accidents.  Please contact us today to receive a FREE case evaluation by dialing locally to 518-828-3336 or call toll free at 877-469-9300.