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Wrong-Site Surgery

Some of the most obvious medical mistakes are those in which the doctor operates on the wrong part of the patient’s body. This type of negligence can occur in a variety of situations. The doctor may be careless in his or her reading of the medical chart or the doctor may fail to accurately identify the correct anatomy prior to operating on a structure.

For example, we recently handled a case in which a young woman presented for removal of an ovary that was stricken with an ovarian cyst. During the surgery, the surgeon negligently removed the wrong ovary, which had been healthy. As a result of this careless mistake, a woman with many child-bearing years remaining could be unable to have any more children. She will require an additional, otherwise unnecessary surgery and if the cyst cannot be removed without removing the ovary, removal of the entire ovary will cause her to become permanently infertile and require hormone therapy for life.

These types of medical mistakes can have devastating effects on the patient’s health and, as in the situation described above, can seriously change the plans that a patient has for his or her own life. Notwithstanding how clear these mistakes may appear to be, a competent defense lawyer is often able to create issues that can call in to question whether the doctor was at fault. Therefore, even clear cases of medical malpractice such as these should be reviewed and pursued only by experienced medical malpractice lawyers.