What Happens if Something is Left Inside You After Surgery?

If a surgical instrument, cloth, or item is left inside you after surgery, you almost always have a valid case for medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is a type of legal case where a doctor, nurse, or hospital failed to meet the standard of care. This means that the medical provider failed to take appropriate steps to make sure that surgical procedure was a success.

What are counting procedures?

Surgical centers and their employees are required to have counting procedures in place to ensure that no surgical items are left inside their patients before the human body is sown up and sealed after surgery. This means that if there are ten surgical items used during the surgery, the staff is required to count to make sure that there are ten surgical items at the conclusion of surgery. Failure to properly count the instruments could result in one of the items accidentally being left inside the patient.

Will I need a second surgery?

When a surgical item is left inside a patient, the patient almost always requires a second surgery to remove the item. The patient is now at a higher risk of getting an infection, and the surgical item can cause additional damage to the internal organs inside the body. The items generally must be discovered and removed quickly to ensure no additional damage to the body.

How are surgical items discovered inside the body?

Most patients discover a surgical item left inside their body because the post-surgery pain and irritation continues far past the date of surgery. If you believe that a surgical item might have been left inside of you, you should seek a new x-ray, MRI, or CT scan to identify the source of the pain and if it was caused by a left surgical instrument. Only through imaging can a physician confirm that the surgical instrument was left inside the body and confirm the left item as the source of your continued pain.

Should I call a medical malpractice lawyer?

If a surgical instrument is discovered inside the body, call an experienced medical malpractice lawyer immediately. Left surgical instrument cases are serious cases and should happen under no circumstances. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can guide you through the legal process and ensure that you are not left paying bills for the expensive, second surgery to remove the item.

What is the surgeon offers me a free surgery to remove the item?

Often, the initial surgeon will offer to remove the item for free in the second surgery. Knowing that the surgeon made a mistake in the initial surgery, many of our clients are hesitant to have the same surgeon perform a second surgery to remove the item. Further, the surgeon might not tell you the full truth in hopes of protecting himself or herself from further liability. If the situation is an emergency, consider going to the hospital for emergency care. That hospital might be able to provide you with more complete information and can provide you with their recommendation for the revision surgery.

If you have been the victim of medical malpractice where an item was left inside your body after surgery, our team is here to answer your questions. You are a victim, and you need a trusted advocate who can guide you through this complex area of the law. We are happy to provide you with our legal opinion in a free case evaluation. Call us today for more information.

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