Hysterectomy Malpractice: An Overview | Blog - Cooper & Friedman

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An Overview of Hysterectomy Malpractice

Written by Cooper & Friedman PLLC on June 21, 2017

hysterectomy malpracticeA hysterectomy is a surgical procedure in which doctors remove a part of a woman’s uterus or the entire thing. Most often, hysterectomies are a final treatment option for women who are suffering from uterine cancer. Other health problems such as endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain can be resolved with a hysterectomy. In this day and age, hysterectomies are common practice with the CDC reporting that more than 1/3rd of women in the United States over the age of 60 have had one; however that does not mean that they come without risk. Despite hysterectomies being one of the most common surgical procedures in the U.S., cases of hysterectomy malpractice are fairly common. This is due to certain factors including: location of the surgical area, existing surgical options, and surgical and post-surgical risks.

As medical malpractice attorneys, we recognize that more often than not, hysterectomy malpractice cases are filed because another organ is damaged during the surgical procedure or an infection results from the surgery.

Additional organ damage, as well as infection, are both more likely to occur during a hysterectomy because the uterus, Fallopian tubes, and ovaries are so closely located to the digestive system and the excretory system – both of which have large varieties of bacteria in them. While the bacteria is good for the systems that it is located in, if the bacteria gets into other parts of the body then it causes major risk of infection. If a doctor accidentally punctures another organ while performing a hysterectomy and it causes further internal damage or infection to spread then it is possible the patient has a very solid foundation on which to proceed with a hysterectomy malpractice case.

Due to the high demand for hysterectomies, scientific and technological advances have given way to multiple surgical approach options. A patient undergoing a hysterectomy has the choice between an abdominal hysterectomy or a vaginal hysterectomy. During an abdominal hysterectomy, one large incision is made similar to a C-section incision and the uterus is removed. During a vaginal hysterectomy, the uterus is removed through the vagina and leaves minimal scarring and less post-op pain. These two surgeries are also available in laparoscopic options which aid the doctor with improved visuals throughout the procedure.

Each of these surgical approaches comes with its own set of risks including:
  • Vaginal shortening or damage
  • Bladder injury
  • Urinary tract infection

The abdominal hysterectomy is the most commonly chosen surgical approach. It most often results in better outcomes and comes with fewer risks. This is despite the fact that this approach may leave more noticeable scarring and has a longer postoperative recovery time. In any case, no matter what surgical approach a woman chooses to take, negligence is possible. If a doctor’s negligence results in injury, infection, or death, then a hysterectomy malpractice suit is a legal option.

Like all surgeries, hysterectomies come with both surgical and post-surgical risks.

According to the National Women’s Health Network, less than 1% of women in the United States die as a result of complications during or after a hysterectomy. However, there are serious risks that may occur during or after surgery including: infection, hemorrhaging, and damage to internal organs. There are also risks that are long-term and could affect a woman who has had a hysterectomy later in life. Some long-term risks include: heart attack, strong, incontinence, sexual problems, depression and other psychological issues, and early onset menopause. Most long-term risks are not grounds for hysterectomy malpractice cases. Doctors and hospitals are sure to outline long-term risks in paperwork prior to the surgery; however if infection, hemorrhaging, internal organ damage, or immediate incontinence are a result of a hysterectomy then it is advised that you seek qualified legal representation about filing a hysterectomy malpractice case.

Generally speaking, going into surgery for a hysterectomy is nothing to be worried about. Hysterectomies are routine procedures and 11% of them are performed as same-day outpatient surgeries. Regardless, it is important to be aware of the complications that can occur and what complications are able to stand up in court as part of a hysterectomy malpractice case.

If you or someone you love has had a hysterectomy that has resulted in an infection, hemorrhaging, or internal organ damage, then it is time to seek qualified legal council with a medical malpractice attorney. If you are in Kentucky or Southern, Indiana, contact the Law Office of Cooper and Friedman for a free legal consultation by calling 502-459-7555 today. We have over 45 combined years of experience successfully defending the rights of injury victims. Let us get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us now.

Posted Under: Medical Malpractice

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