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Wrong-site surgery rare but devastating for victims

Jun 22, 2017 | Surgical Errors

New York patients who are preparing for surgery naturally have many concerns, and extreme events like wrong-site surgery unfortunately present themselves as possible negative outcomes. A study conducted in 2006 that analyzed almost 3 million procedures revealed a rate of wrong-site surgeries of 1 in every 112,994 cases.

The consequences for victims can lead to lifelong health problems. A jury in Pennsylvania has awarded $870,000 to a man who sued the surgeon who removed the wrong testicle. The man had suffered from testicular pain for 15 years. A previous injury had caused one testicle to wither, and the surgeon decided that removal would provide pain relief. The surgeon instead took out the healthy testicle and could not provide a clear explanation about the cause of the mistake. The patient continues to suffer pain, but removal of the damaged testicle would require that he take testosterone for the rest of his life. His lawyer said that the man is fearful of seeking additional treatment.

Cases of botched kidney operations also seriously affect the lives of patients. In 2013, a man undergoing surgery at New York City hospital had the wrong kidney taken out. Then, in 2014, a man in another state had his healthy kidney removed instead of the kidney with cancer.

When someone suffers a negative outcome from medical care, the legal standards for proving negligence are high. An attorney familiar with surgical malpractice could review the case to see if a lawsuit could present a viable course for recovering damages. Testimony obtained from an independent medical expert arranged by the attorney could strengthen the case.