Overview: If a surgeon nicks or lacerates your bowel or colon during a hysterectomy, you may have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim seeking financial restitution for your harms and losses.
One of the most common medical procedures a woman in the United States will undergo is a hysterectomy. In fact, a hysterectomy is the second most common surgery for women in the U.S. with approximately 500,000 hysterectomies performed yearly, according to Yale Medicine.
The majority of surgeons typically perform a hysterectomy using one of two methods: (1) a laparotomy, which involves a large incision in the abdominal area or (2) a laparoscopy, which involves a small “keyhole” incision often made around the navel and the abdomen.
Since a laparotomy hysterectomy is considered major surgery, the recovery time is more extensive (often multiple weeks). In contrast, a laparoscopic hysterectomy is considered to be less invasive since the recovery time is typically around two weeks. However, the laparoscopic procedure a higher risk of nicks and/or lacerations due to the surgeon’s limited view using a small laparoscope.
Heightened Risk of Lacerations During Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
There are many procedures where a surgeon needs to take great care in avoiding nicking or cutting the bowel or colon of a patient. This is particularly applicable for hysterectomies since portions of the bowel and intestine are close in proximity to the uterine area. As a result, a surgeon must exercise extreme care and caution when conducting a surgical procedure where the uterus is involved. Unfortunately, some surgeons fail to take the requisite care during a hysterectomy and wind up nicking or lacerating a patient’s bowel or colon during the procedure.
Side Effects of a Lacerated Colon or Bowel
The side effects of a cut or nicked bowel or colon that occurred during a hysterectomy include:
- Distended abdomen
- Intense abdominal pain
Unfortunately, far too often, medical personnel dismiss these symptoms as anything other than “normal” post-operative conditions and send the patient home, thus resulting in a delayed diagnosis. The delayed diagnosis of a nicked or lacerated bowel / colon can be life-threatening. In fact, if a lacerated or nicked colon / bowel is left untreated, the contents of the bowel are likely going to leak out into the patient’s abdominal area which can cause sepsis. When someone develops sepsis, it could put their life at risk since sepsis means the patient’s abdominal cavity has become infected. If left untreated, this infect can lead to organ failure and even death.
For women who have suffered an undiagnosed cut or nicked bowel during a hysterectomy and are fortunate enough to survive the medical mistake, the recovery period is often long and painful.
Speak to a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Virginia Beach Today
If you have been a victim of a cut or nicked bowel during a hysterectomy, or other similar surgical mistake, contact our skilled Virginia Beach medical malpractice lawyers to allow us to evaluate what legal recourse you may have against the surgeon and/or hospital for your pain and loss. Our Virginia medical malpractice attorneys have successfully represented many clients who have suffered from this type of medical injury or even resulting in wrongful death. You can contact our firm to schedule a confidential case review here.
For over twenty years, Mr. Sharp's law practice has focused on serious personal injury claims, including traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury claims. He also handles nursing home neglect cases and medical malpractice claims. Mr. Sharp has counseled numerous clients about the complexities concerning litigation of both pediatric and adult brain injury.
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