Cardiothoracic surgery, also known as thoracic surgery, is the field of medicine involved in surgical procedures performed on the chest (thorax).

Cardiothoracic surgery can involve surgery on the lungs, esophagus, chest wall, and mediastinum. It is not to be confused with cardiac or cardiovascular surgery, which focuses on the heart and great vessels.

When Might I Need Cardiothoracic Surgery?

Thoracic surgery includes lung, esophageal, and cardiac surgery. A patient may need this surgery because they have a life-threatening medical condition or minor problem such as gastroesophageal reflux disease. They perform the following surgical procedures:

  • Surgery for lung cancer, tumors, and cysts;
  • Surgery on collapsed or infected lungs;
  • Keyhole thoracic surgery; and
  • Chest-wall deformities.

Can I Be Injured During Cardiothoracic Surgery?

Yes. Cardiothoracic surgery is highly invasive. Cardiothoracic surgeons use microsurgical instruments such as scissors, needle holders, and forceps, as well as instruments and retractors for invasive surgery. Because these types of surgery are generally considered dangerous and invasive, personal injuries can occur.

What are the Most Common Cardiothoracic Surgical Errors?

The most common cardiothoracic surgery errors include:

  • Perforating an organ, tissue, or nerve during surgery;
  • Carelessness;
  • Surgeon’s poor judgment; 
  • Leaving surgical equipment inside the body; and/or
  • Failure to adequately manage postoperative medical care.

Can I Sue for My Injury During Cardiothoracic Surgery?

Yes. Medical malpractice is the legal cause of action for when a surgeon negligently performs an operation. It can also occur when a medical professional involved with the surgery negligently performs his or her task.

How Do I Prove Medical Malpractice?

To prevail in your medical malpractice claim, a plaintiff must prove the following:

  • The surgeon or medical professional had a duty to provide a standard of care to the plaintiff;
  • The surgeon or medical professional breached that duty;
  • The surgeon or medical professional was the actual and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury; and
  • The plaintiff suffered damages as a result.

Should I Seek Legal Counsel About My Cardiothoracic Surgery Injury?

Medical malpractice lawsuits can be complicated. In that regard, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney if you believe you have suffered injuries from your cardiothoracic surgery as a result of medical malpractice.

Contact a personal injury lawyer about your cardiothoracic surgery injury immediately. Your lawyer will explain your legal rights and file a lawsuit on your behalf. They may also negotiate a fair settlement with the defendant to avoid trial.