No surgery or procedure is risk-free. However, with an understanding of the risks involved, you are right to expect your surgeon to provide you the highest level of care when performing any type of surgical procedure. Not even the best doctors in the world are exempt from making a mistake that can cause grievous and permanent injury to a patient.
One of the most serious injuries caused by surgical error is bowel perforation. This type of injury can cause fecal matter from the bowel to leak into the abdominal region and surrounding areas. If a bowel perforation is discovered and repaired immediately, it’s usually not life-threatening. However, when a doctor fails to diagnose or treat a bowel injury or perforation properly, a patient can suffer severe symptoms, some fatal.
Although all procedures come with certain risks, bowel perforation is a known risk with some surgeries. These include abdominal surgeries and laparoscopic procedures like:
- Cholecystectomy (gallbladder surgery)
- Adhesiolysis (surgery for pelvic adhesions, usually not medically indicated)
- Pelvic lymphadenectomy (lymph node surgery)
- Oophorectomy (ovary surgery)
What are the symptoms of a perforated bowel?
If you have had an abdominal procedure or surgery, or suffered an injury to the abdominal area, and experience nausea or vomiting, fever, and pain in that area, you should get medical attention immediately. If an injured or perforated bowel is left untreated, at the least you can develop an infection and at the worst you can go into septic shock. Septic shock is when an infection reaches the bloodstream and travels throughout the body, causing low blood pressure.
Remember, a perforated bowel on its own isn’t proof of medical malpractice. However, if your surgeon or doctor improperly addresses it, or fails to address it at all, you may want to speak to an attorney.
Treatment for a perforated bowel
A perforated bowel requires additional surgery to repair. Patients may require a colostomy bag temporarily while the bowel heals. It’s understandable that you may not want to undergo surgery again, but in cases like this, benefits outweigh the risks. Repairing and correcting a perforated bowel can save you from life-threatening conditions. And, if your doctor fails to treat this injury, they can be liable for any complication or condition that results from that failure.
It’s the standard of care that determines liability. If a doctor or other medical professional fails to act reasonably and that failure results in a condition that causes harm to a patient, the patient likely has a case for medical malpractice.
If you suffered a bowel perforation or other injury during surgery, the medical malpractice lawyers at Crandall & Pera Law can help. Our attorneys have extensive experience with these types of cases, and work aggressively to seek compensation for your injuries and losses. Call us at 877-686-8879 today. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule a no-obligation consultation at one of our offices in Ohio or Kentucky.