Surgical procedures have evolved rapidly over the last 25 years. Many of these adjustments have benefited patients through implementation of today’s sophisticated technology. However, advancements in technology can also make surgery more complex. The best medical providers will invest time in studying these new surgical options and analyzing which processes may ensure the safest results for their patients.
Inpatient Surgery Statistics
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a National Hospital Discharge Survey, assorted by selected patient characteristics such as category and age. This survey focused on the number of times each procedure was performed in United States hospitals during 2009.
Totals discovered in this survey indicate:
- 48 million total surgeries performed
- 1.9 million arteriography and angiocardiography procedures
- 1.1 million cardiac catheterizations
- 1.1 million endoscopies of small intestine
- 525,000 endoscopies of large intestine
- 497,000 computerized axial tomography (CAT scans)
- 902,000 diagnostic ultrasounds
- 605,000 balloon angioplasties of coronary artery or coronary atherectomies
- 494,000 hysterectomies
- 1.3 million cesarean sections
- 621,000 reduction of fractures
- 528,000 insertions of coronary artery stents
- 415,000 coronary artery bypass grafts
- 676,000 total knee replacements
- 327,000 total hip replacements
Plastic surgery, also known as cosmetic surgery, grows more popular every year. Research on this type of surgical procedure is a very different form of assessment. Statistics of cosmetic surgeries indicate cultural trends and economic variances rather than national health issues.
As of April 2012, the most common cosmetic surgeries in the United States were:
5. Breast Lift
Aesthetic surgeries carry a high risk because patients frequently do not consider the invasive nature of the procedures. A patient may not heed the doctor’s warnings about recovery and may attempt physical activities before the body is fully healed. It is important for a medical expert to discuss the patient’s reasons behind requesting a cosmetic surgery to evaluate if the patient is a good surgical candidate. The physician should also explain the risks of surgery and any nonsurgical options that the patient may prefer. If the medical provider fails to detail vital aspects of the surgery, a medical malpractice incident may occur.
Surgeries are expensive, painful, and risky. Surgeons charge a high pay rate because they must maintain complex, specialized skills to perform surgical tasks with accuracy. The equipment is also a major contributing factor to the cost of surgery. The newer the medical devices are, the more expensive the surgery will be. It is important to remember that cutting-edge technology has been through less testing and may carry greater health risks. A patient should seek the minimum amount of medical treatment required for better health.
Studies have shown that many patients may undergo extraneous surgical procedures. Surgeries such as therapeutic knee arthroscopies and vertebroplasties have proven ineffective, yet they are still being performed. The Department of Health in England has reported a 40% increase at the end of 2011 in hospital cancellation of operations previously marked as urgent. While some of these cancellations may be a result of a patient’s inability to pay, this also brings into question the guidelines for defining a surgical procedure as “urgent.”
Surgical wound infections are the second most common form of adverse medical events in hospitals, but diagnosis of a post-operative infection can be difficult. Most patients experience swelling due to systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) associated with certain types of surgery. Differentiating between the SIRS response and an actual post-surgical infection can be complicated. It may help for a medical professional to take certain risk factors into account.
Some factors marking an increased risk of surgical site infections include:
- Height, weight, and overall pre-operative health
- Type of surgery
- Length of hospitalization
- Frequency of hospitalization
- Previous surgical procedures
- Dissimilar medical conditions
Post-surgical infections can develop any time between several days to several weeks after surgery. They are most likely to occur in places that accommodate additional bacteria, such as the intestines. Approximately 40% to 60% of surgical site infections are preventable.
Post-operative infections can cause:
- An increased mortality rate
- Increased readmission rate
- Increased length of hospitalization, typically by an average of 7.5 days
- Additional medical treatment
- Increased expense for additional medical treatment
Apostolakis, Efstratios, et al. “Are there independent predisposing factors for postoperative infections following open heart surgery?” Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery 6 (2011): 151.Academic OneFile. Web. 29 May 2012.
Legault, Timothy. “Unnecessary surgeries and hospital standardized mortality ratios.” CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal 8 Feb. 2011: 94. Academic OneFile. Web. 29 May 2012.
“NEW TRENDS IN 2011 COSMETIC SURGERY STATISTICS.” States News Service 4 Apr. 2012. Academic OneFile. Web. 29 May 2012.
“Rise in number of cancelled operations.” Nursing Standard 26.18 (2012): 6. Academic OneFile. Web. 29 May 2012.
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Inpatient Surgery. Atlanta: CDC, 2009. Web. 29 May 2012.</h6>
Surgical Malpractice Categories and Terms
Angiograms do enable an opportunity for malpractice, negligence, and patient injury.
Bowel perforation may result from negligence or carelessness of a medical professional.
A cardiac catheterization is a procedure that can help to diagnose heart disease by performing a variety of tasks such as collecting blood samples, measuring blood pressure, examining arteries, and more.
Extracapsular cataract extraction is more commonly used in modern day practice. Intracapsular cataract extraction is rare in current medical practices.
Although the patient is usually made to sign a series of consent forms in order to limit the accountability of the doctor and other staff involved, this does not always relieve them from negligence charges.
Typically, the institution, clinic and every member of the medical team that was involved in the procedure can become part of a malpractice lawsuit.
There is a risk of harm associated with the procedure itself, and there is also a risk that the lab results from these tests may not be read properly.
Lasik Eye Surgery
People who have Lasik eye surgery have the intention of improving their myopia, or nearsightedness, but sometimes, the result is tragic.
During an operation, it is possible for the patient to suffer an organ perforation due to error, negligence, equipment malfunction, or other complications.
Paraplegia Due To Medical Malpractice
Spinal surgery and treatment should be approached with caution and precision. Surgical errors and failure to diagnose related conditions can lead to patient paraplegia.
Quadriplegia Due To Medical Malpractice
In a hospital or other environment of professional medical supervision, carelessness or negligence surrounding an injury or other condition can lead to quadriplegia.
Retained Surgical Instruments
A retained surgical instrument is an item that has been accidentally left inside a patient’s body from an operation.
If you or a family member believe you may have been the victim of tracheotomy malpractice, it is important to understand as much as possible about this procedure as well as your legal rights, including your right to compensation for injuries suffered.
Plastic Surgery Malpractice Lawyer
Bad Face Lift
As the popularity of plastic surgery and other cosmetic procedures has increased, so too has the incidence of complications, mistakes, and clear examples of medical malpractice.
Normally this outpatient procedure has no lasting side effects, but there have been a number of cases where the patient is not satisfied with the results or even experiences physical discomfort. In rare cases, infections or nerve damage has been documented.
Women elect to have breast augmentation or reduction for different reasons but inept surgeons or poor surgical procedure can result in dissatisfaction or complications.
Chemical peels gone wrong can cause permanent scarring. In the worst reported cases, clients have reported painful burns that left permanent skin damage or skin discoloration.
Patients who feel they are victims of rhinoplasty malpractice can seek assistance to try and recover some damages.
Surgical Infections Malpractice Lawyer
Studies have shown that about 80 percent of C. Diff cases are the result of an exposure at a hospital or doctor’s office.
If strict sterilization and cleaning methods are not followed, patients can contract Hepatitis C in a hospital or clinical environment.
Many mistakes that result in a patient developing an infection can be prevented, and if medical staff fails to ensure quality care for their patients, they could be held responsible for the patient’s infection.
Surgeons take extreme precautions to prevent contamination of body tissues during an operation, but in some cases the patient may be exposed to bacteria, fungus, mold or other agents that can lead to severe complications.
Surgical Errors Malpractice Lawyer
The repercussions of an unnecessary amputation can be quite severe. Therefore, it is essential to fully understand your legal rights.
Colectomy or bowel resection surgery is a common drastic surgery often given in desperate times. A piece of the bowel or intestine will be removed from the body.
Failed Tubal Ligation
Proving malpractice after a failed tubal ligation can be difficult, and should only be attempted with the advice of a competent medical malpractice attorney
During fistulotomy procedures, medical malpractice liability can arise in a variety of ways. Errors made by the doctor or any deviations from accepted medical practices for fistulotomies could result in patient injury and the basis for medical malpractice.
If the patient receives damage during the surgery that can be proved to have been prevented, then a lawsuit could be established.
If the hospital’s staff is doing their job correctly, they should be able to find and treat gangrene as soon as it appears.
Hemorrhoid surgery must be performed by a skilled surgeon, however, there is always a chance of human error.
Inguinal Hernia Procedure
Although there are no significant dangers to an inguinal hernia by itself, there are a number of serious complications that can threaten the lives of patients with hernias.
Laparoscopic surgery is often used as a means of removing the gallbladder. Inexperienced doctors or those who are not paying attention are the most likely candidates to cause injury to a patient in surgery.
Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery
Since the components of the gallbladder such as the bile ducts are relatively small and fairly close to each other, it is essential that the surgeon is careful and meticulous during gallbladder surgery
Laparoscopic Prostate Surgery
The risks of laparoscopic prostate surgery can include incontinence, impotence, excessive bleeding, infection, or permanent intestinal damage.
Large Intestine Endoscopy
Injuries to the colon that require immediate surgical repair sometimes occur due to excessive or careless manipulations of the colonoscope and can be, under certain circumstances, considered negligence on the part of the physician.
Mangled Extremity Severity Score
When performing an amputation, certain medical considerations must be made. The doctor must properly conduct an evaluation before a surgery can be executed.
Often, surgeons come in close contact with the nerves when they are performing an operation. The slightest mistake could result in the severing of a nerve.
Post Appendectomy Infection
The facility or professional may be subject to legal proceedings should this standard not be upheld and a post appendectomy patient develops an infection that results in the patient requiring additional care.
Small Intestine Endoscopy
While an upper endoscopy is a routine procedure, as with any invasive medical test there are some risks involved.
Surgical Mistakes And Liability
Quite often, the fault lies with the surgeon, anesthesiologist or other surgical staff members. However, there are times when the fault actually lies with the hospital.
Statistics indicate that in the United States alone, there are more than 200,000 deaths caused by medical malpractice annually. A large part of this disturbing trend can be blamed on mistakes made in surgery that are due to surgeons’ carelessness.
An unnecessary surgery may constitute a surgery malpractice claim. Whether or not a patient has a viable medical claim depends on the events surrounding the surgical procedure.
Wrong Site Surgery
There are instances when a surgeon may operate on a wrong site or part of the body. Such surgery errors may cause serious complications that may even lead to death
Spinal Surgery Malpractice Lawyer
Artificial Disc Replacement
Most patients affected by spinal degenerative conditions that present the aforementioned symptoms can find relief from their symptoms without needing to undergo surgery.
Back Surgery Errors
Your nervous system is made of thousands of nerve ending, and if a central part is cut you could lose all feeling in various parts of your body.
It is the responsibility of all back surgeons and other healthcare professionals to correctly diagnose the patient prior to performing decompression surgery in order to provide an accurate evaluation of the back condition the patient has and perform the surgery using the methods that are the least invasive.
If the surgery is not performed carefully, it is possible for vertebrae or the spinal cord to become injured or the patient’s existing condition may worsen.
The most common types of negligence associated with spinal surgery come from positioning the patient incorrectly, carelessness during the operation, or failure to take an x-ray of the patient before the surgery, leading to an inaccurate diagnosis.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I Sue a Doctor for Medical Malpractice That Prescribed the Wrong Medication?
- What Types Of Damages Are Usually Awarded In A Medical Malpractice Case?
- What Is Meant by “a Breach of the Standard of Care” in a Medical Malpractice Case?
- What Does “Preponderance of the Evidence” in Relation to Medical Malpractice Mean?
- Do You Have to Prove a Doctor-Patient Relationship if You Sue?