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When Surgeons Remove the Wrong Body Part or Perform the Wrong Surgery

Wrong SurgeryEven minor medical errors can be devastating to victims, but those involving the removal of the wrong body part, incorrect procedure, or a procedure meant for another patient may result in serious injury, illness, or disability. In some situations, such errors could even lead to death. Learn more about these surgical errors, including what to do if you or someone you love becomes a victim of surgical malpractice.

Removal of the Wrong Body Part

In 2013, one man had the wrong testicle removed. His surgeon was supposed to take out the right testicle, which was scarred and painful. Instead, he took out the left one. Though the man has never had the correct testicle removed – partly because he would have to take testosterone replacement for the rest of his life, and partly out of fear – his situation was not dire. The man does not have cancer, and removal did not result in his death. Yet the significance and implications of the removal are severe. Ultimately awarded a malpractice settlement, he lives in continuous pain and may not ever trust another doctor.

Incorrect Procedure

Incorrect procedures are those that are completely unrelated to the patient’s condition. An example would be a victim going in for the removal of their appendix and coming out of surgery with one of their legs amputated. The two procedures are not connected in any way, and the condition that they came in with is in no way related to the procedure that was ultimately performed. Much of the time, this is an inconvenience that does not result in death or serious injury, yet in the case of an amputation, cancer, or even a bursting appendix, the surgeon’s mistake could result in serious consequences for the patient.

Wrong Surgery

Wrong surgeries are different than incorrect procedures because they are the performance of a procedure on the wrong patient. For example, charts may be switched and a patient may receive an appendectomy instead of the lumpectomy they were supposed to receive. Worse yet, there may be two patients affected by the same mistake – each potentially receiving the surgery that was meant to be performed on the other.

Protecting Yourself from “Never” Mistakes

Wrong and incorrect surgeries are supposed to be “never” mistakes, meaning they should never happen. Quite simply, this means they have catastrophic implications and they are extremely easy to prevent. Surgeons have best practices that they can use, such as marking the surgical site with their initials. In addition, they are supposed to confirm they have the right site, right patient, and right procedure – every single surgery.

If you or someone you love has experienced an injury, illness, or death because of a surgical error, contact Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, LLP for assistance. Backed by decades of experience and committed to your best interests, our San Jose medical malpractice lawyers will protect your rights and fight for the most favorable outcome possible. Schedule a free consultation by calling (408) 289-1417 today.

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Client Reviews
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My experience with Attorney Brad Corsiglia during my recent medical malpractice case was nothing short of amazing given the very stressful circumstances. I was fortunate to find Brad highly recommended from a mutual contact and from the very beginning of the process, Brad was truly engaged and knowledgeable in understanding my case and providing input on what avenues were available to me. Michelle M.