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Surgical complications are one of the most common forms of medical malpractice.   While each type of surgery has its own risks and complications, there are a number of different complications that arise as a result of doctor or hospital error. When you experience a surgical complication that is a result of doctor or hospital negligence, you may be a victim of medical malpractice.  Here are some examples of what can go wrong in surgery that may be considered medical malpractice.

Surgical Equipment Left Behind– If a doctor is distracted or in a hurry while performing surgery, it is very possible that he or she may leave behind a foreign object such as such as forceps, tweezers, gauze, needles, scopes, ties or another piece of surgical equipment. Foreign objects left inside the body can be extremely painful and extremely harmful.  If not treated right away, it can lead to severe infection or organ damage.

Wrong Organ Removed- Miscommunications between the doctor and surgical staff could result in removal of the wrong organ from the wrong side of the body.  One of the most common examples is removing the wrong breast during a mastectomy or performing a double mastectomy when only one breast is scheduled to be removed.

Organ and Tissue Damage– A surgeon accidentally cutting or damaging an organ or tissue with a surgical knife is one of the most common examples of what can go wrong in surgery.  Because doctors work long hours and because they work with tiny tools, it is not uncommon for a hand to slip or shake.  With one wrong movement, the surgeon can cut or tear an organ that was not intended to be cut.  While this may be as simple as a quick stitch, this can also lead to more serious injuries such as infection, paralysis, or even loss of a limb.

These mishaps are the result of doctor negligence and hospital negligence and are considered medical malpractice.  They are not recognized complications of a surgical procedure.

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