The number of laparoscopic procedures has increased steadily since the late 1980s. Each year, more than 2 million patients undergo laparoscopic procedures in the U.S. The downside to laparoscopic procedures is that inadvertent bowel injuries may occur. This dreaded complication requires vigilance and skill to avoid, and adequate training and experience to manage and repair. In a perfect world, every gynecologist would be trained in techniques to prevent and repair inadvertent bowel injuries. Unfortunately, residency programs often do not provide such training.
Any doctor can nick or cut your bowel and not even know it. If your doctor cuts or nicks your bowels, but recognizes the mistake while you are still in surgery, they may avoid what is considered medical malpractice. That is, mistakes are known to occur, and if the doctor appreciates the mistake and takes care of it during the operation, you may suffer harm, but it may not rise to the level of a viable medical malpractice claim.
In stark contrast, the doctor that accidentally cuts a bowel and fails to appreciate it or conduct appropriate testing, leaving you with serious and life-threatening complications, may have committed a violation of medical standards and may be liable for medical malpractice. This type of hospital malpractice injury happens very often and the poor victim is sewed up and sent home only to return a few days later in terrible pain.
One such incident occurred to a client of ours. She suffered severe infection and required multiple abdominal "washouts" over the course of several weeks to try and repair the damage. Even after these procedures, our client required two additional surgeries to try and correct the damage from the initial hysterectomy. If our client's injury had been left untreated it may have become even worse or she may have even lost her life. This is why finding an experienced Virginia (VA) medical malpractice lawyer is imperative when you suffer laparoscopic injury after surgery.