Many surgeons nowadays use a device called a hysterscope for certain procedures. Unfortunately, if a surgeon is not well trained, or inexperienced in using this device, serious injuries and side effects can occur.
For example, Jim Lewis, one of our firm's Virginia medical malpractice attorneys, helped a family of a victm who passed away due to a medical error by a doctor involving a cut uterus and colon. The victim went into the hospital for a routine gynecologic procedure called a D & C. The surgeon used a hysteroscope and during the procedure, the doctor perforated the victim's bowels with the instrument.
Click below for more information on medical malpractice injuries that may occur during a hysterectomy procedure:
Unfortunately, the physician did not realize she had perforated her patient's bowel and sent her home. Very shortly thereafter, the victim became terribly ill and ultimately died due to septic shock caused by the cut or perforated bowel. This unfortunate medical error caused our client's wrongful death.
Gynecologic surgeons inflict injuries on patients' ureters and other organs such as bowels and bladders during supposedly routine procedures and don't realize they have done it. In fact, the malpractice case described above is one of many cut/severed ureter cases our firm has has handled recently. It's mind-bloggling because these are well-known complications that could have been prevented if the doctor exercised reasonable care.
Jim sat down with fellow Virginia personal injury lawyer Rick Shapiro to talk about cut ureters, bowels and gallbladders from laparoscopic procedures:
Some of the Common Questions on This Topic:
What is a Perforated Bowel?
A perforated bowel means that the bowel has been cut or slit open. If this is unintended, it is a potentially life-threatening medical surgical error and may require corrective surgery to wash out the abdomen due to infection and risk of septic shock.
How is a Perforated Bowel Treated?
Due to the serious complications of a cut, severed or perforated bowel, surgeons may be required to connect a colostomy bag that is positioned outside of the patient's body. Treatment of a perforated bowel also requires management of the infection that occurs from the cut bowel, known as sepsis.
What Is a Perforated Colon?
This is a cut, severed or nicked bowel that often requires surgical repair due to the medical mistake that is not intended from a routine surgery. A patient with a perforated colon can present with symptoms such as bowel obstruction, pain with fever or chills, and a wide array of abnormal symptoms.
The serious health effects of a perforated bowel are that the opening in the stomach or intestine allows food, stool, and other substances to leak into your stomach cavity causing peritonitis (i.e. inflammation of the abdomen), according to freemd.com. The side effects may include severe nausea, fever, dehydration, etc. If you don't get the cut bowel corrected in a timely manner, the risk of death increases precipitously.
Surgeries where a perforated bowel has a higher chance of occurring include colonoscopy, surgery to remove a polyp and/or mass in the bowel, and, in some cases a hysterectomy. In any procedure where a surgeon is using a scalpel on your internal organs, a perforation or nick can occur.
This is why you need to be prepared, both before and after the surgery. Ask the surgeon how many procedures they've performed in the past. If you do not feel comfortable with the answer, always remember you can request the services of another surgeon. After the surgery, be on the lookout for the side effects listed above. The moment you notice these problems, contact your doctor and surgeon immediately in order to get it checked out.
To learn more about cut, severed or perforated ureters and bowels, read these articles: