Our Virginia personal injury law firm has years of experience handling, settling and trying medical malpractice cases involving damaged or cut ureters. Let us outline the facts about cut ureters and medical malpractice basics. First, what exactly is a ureter? Well, a ureter is a muscular tube that propels urine from the kidneys to the urinary bladder. This is why it is so dangerous to your health if you suffer a severed ureter injury due to the negligence of a doctor during surgery. A major ureter tear or perforation can lead to kidney damage, which can lead to a whole host of health problems.
Here are some frequently asked questions about cut, severed, torn or perforated ureters.
Q: When a surgeon or doctor accidentally cuts or severs a ureter, what are the usual patient symptoms based on perforated cases you have handled?
Answer: If a negligent surgeon cuts, nicks or perforates a ureter, within hours to several days, the patient will begin experiencing some or all of the following symptoms: a swollen abdomen; severe pain and, occasionally, nausea and vomiting.
Q: Should an experienced doctor doing surgery that cuts or nicks a ureter know that the medical mistake occurred.
Answer: Absolutely. The surgeon performing surgery in the vicinity of his or her patient's ureter is absolutely obligated to visualize the ureter to make sure that he has not caused a cut or perforated ureter injury. Occasionally, injury occurs even when good efforts are being made to avoid it. If the ureters are in proper surgical view, the surgeon will realize he has injured the ureter and take immediate steps to cure and otherwise remedy that serious injury.
Q: What are the terrible complications and medical expenses that can result from a cut or severed ureter?
Answer: The first thing that will happen after a cut, perforated or nicked ureter is the kidney will begin to malfunction. If this is not remedied promptly, the kidney can die. The most common way to protect a kidney is to insert a tube through the patient's back into the kidney itself. This tube drains urine out of the patient's back down to a bag that is strapped on the patient's leg to collect the urine. Of course this must be emptied and cleaned frequently until it is removed.
After this, efforts must be made to repair the ureter. First, the doctor will attempt to place a stent -- a small plastic tube -- across the location of the urethral injury. This is not always successful.
As a last ditch effort, the patient undergoes a major surgery where a large abdominal incision is made, the damaged and injured ureter is located, a hole is cut in the bladder and the ureter is reinserted and stitched into the bladder in the hopes that it will begin to work properly.
All of these procedures are extremely painful and incredibly expensive, sometimes nearing $500,000.
We hope you found this information about cut, nicked or perforated ureter helpful. If you would like additional information, download this free guide about the top 5 surgical errors and how you can avoid becoming a victim.