During surgery, medical professionals must uphold a certain standard of care to their patients. In simple terms, a surgeon should not cause harm to a patient while performing a procedure—but some healthcare providers accidentally cut or perforate a patient’s internal organs.
In particular, bowel perforation can result in serious, potentially life-threatening complications. If you were receiving surgery and your surgeon cuts your bowel lining, you could suffer from infection, disease, and, without prompt treatment, death. In these situations, you may be eligible for a lawsuit against the at-fault medical professional.
What Is Bowel Perforation?
The bowel is a key component of the digestive system that contains two parts: the small bowel, or the small intestine, and the large bowel, or the colon and rectum. Bowel perforation occurs when the bowel is punctured in some way. During surgery, this often occurs when a surgeon accidently cuts the bowel, leading to dangerous complications.
When a bowel is perforated, harmful bacteria can enter the abdominal cavity. As a result, patients can develop serious, life-threatening conditions. Some of the most common complications of bowel perforation include the following.
- Internal bleeding
- Stomach abscesses
- Bowel infraction
Without prompt treatment, bowel perforation can be life threatening and lead to death. Patients who survive the complication will require additional surgery and may need intensive treatment. In some cases, patients may need to wear a colostomy bag.
How Surgeon Malpractice Can Lead to Bowel Perforation
Medical professionals have a duty to uphold a certain standard of care while treating patients. A doctor’s actions must not deviate from what another professional would have done in the same circumstances. If a healthcare provider deviates from this standard and harms a patient, he or she commits an act of medical malpractice.
During surgery, a surgeon must ensure that he or she is performing the right surgery, on the right patient, at the right time. A surgeon must also take care not to cut, harm, or injure the patient in any way during the procedure. If a surgeon deviates from this standard, he or she may be liable for medical malpractice.
Common procedures where bowel perforation often occurs include the following.
- Gallbladder surgery
- Gastric bypass surgery
- Laparoscopic surgeries
Bowel perforation often occurs due to surgeon negligence. In these situations, it is important for the medical staff to identify the harm as soon as possible to reduce potential complications. If the staff fails to do so, they also may be liable for the patient’s damages.
Speak to a Missouri Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you underwent surgery and your surgeon accidentally perforated your bowel, you could hold him or her accountable for your losses through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Through your claim, you can hold the surgeon liable for damages like medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
In these situations, it is crucial to receive emergency medical attention and receive the follow-up care you need. After receiving treatment, speak to a Missouri medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.
A medical malpractice lawyer can represent you in your claim against the at-fault provider and secure the compensation you deserve. Your lawyer can enlist expert medical witnesses who can testify on your behalf, negotiate with defense attorneys and insurance companies, and gather the evidence you need to prove your case.