How to Come Out of Surgery Healthier Than You Went In

Your goal in having surgery is to maintain or to improve your health.  After all, there is no need to go through the pain, inconvenience and expense of surgery to be worse off than you were before you arrived at the hospital!

Yet, each year patients are hurt, or even killed, when a hospital performs the wrong surgery on the wrong patient, when a surgeon leaves a piece of equipment inside a patient’s body or, when the wrong limb or organ is removed.

Protecting Yourself Before Surgery

While there is little that you can do to protect yourself while you are under anesthesia, you can take the following steps before surgery:

  • Interview your doctors and make sure there have been no allegations of malpractice in their past;
  • Tell everyone, repeatedly, why you are in the hospital and what surgery is to be performed;
  • Have a medical professional write on your body with a permanent marker to indicate which limb or organ is going to be operated on; and
  • Just before the anesthesiologist administers your medicine, speak with your surgeon and have the surgeon repeat to you what exactly will be done during surgery.

 

Recovering Damages After Surgery

Even if you take all of the steps described above, you still face the risk of surgical error.  There is often a lot of blame to go around when a surgical error occurs but, know this: a surgical error is not your fault. 

If you have suffered the physical consequences of a surgical mistake then you may be entitled to damages.   Contact a Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney for more information about your rights to recover for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and other damages.