The term hysterectomy refers to a surgery in which the uterus is removed from the body. This procedure is typically performed as a last-resort remedy for various medical conditions, such as:
- Tumors such as fibroids;
- Chronic pelvic pain; and/or
- In connection with pregnancy or childbirth.
A hysterectomy may also be done when a myomectomy has failed to correct the patient’s medical problem. Hysterectomies can either be complete, in which there is a full removal of the uterus and associated structures, or partial, in which some structures remain intact.
There are some specific hysterectomy laws, which can vary by state. These laws prohibit people from having a hysterectomy without it being medically justified. A doctor must generally state that such a procedure is absolutely necessary for the person’s wellbeing, and there are no other equivalent options.
Is a Hysterectomy Dangerous? Are There Any Dangers Associated with Hysterectomies?
Hysterectomies are a serious matter. As such, this procedure should be carefully considered and discussed at length. The decision to have a hysterectomy should be made only by the patient and their doctor. As previously mentioned, hysterectomies are generally reserved as a last resort when other types of treatments have not proven successful. As with any other major surgery, hysterectomies can be associated with various dangers and side effects.
Some examples include, but may not be limited to:
- Wound infection;
- Reduced or impacted sexual function;
- Pelvic pain;
- Urinary incontinence;
- Premature menopause;
- Issues with recovery and healing; and/or
- Death, in very serious cases.
A hysterectomy could result in a failed surgery, which occurs when a surgical error was made. A surgical error is a mistake made during surgery that could have been prevented. Errors resulting from a failed surgery are those that are beyond what a patient knew were possible before agreeing to the procedure.
Medical malpractice law states that if an injury or death occurs because of a surgical error, and the error was caused by negligence or inattention, the victim can file a surgery complications lawsuit to recover damages. The same is true for hysterectomy malpractice.
Legal action may also be necessary for cases involving unnecessary hysterectomy, as these types of cases have increased in recent years. State laws regarding the issue may vary, especially in terms of limits on awards in a malpractice claim.
What Is Medical Negligence During a Hysterectomy Operation? What are Hysterectomy Negligence Compensation Claims?
Medical negligence can be defined as the negligent, improper, or unskilled treatment of a patient by a healthcare professional. Medical negligence forms the basis for most medical malpractice claims in which the victim is claiming injury from medical treatment. Negligence in connection with a hysterectomy procedure could include leaving foreign objects in the patient’s body after the surgery, or removing additional organs when the patient only agreed to having their uterus removed.
Hysterectomy malpractice settlements can occur after an injured plaintiff files a lawsuit against the healthcare professional or hospital alleging various hysterectomy negligence claims. A common settlement would involve the amount paid for the initial surgery combined with the amount necessary for a corrective surgery. If corrective surgery is not possible, then there may be additional damages involved in a hysterectomy negligence claim.
What If I Have Been Injured Due to a Hysterectomy Procedure?
Liability for hysterectomy-related injuries can often lead to a legal claim, in which the injured party receives monetary damages for their botched hysterectomy. These damages will likely be similar to those associated with other personal injury and medical malpractice lawsuits.
An unnecessary hysterectomy lawsuit is fairly self explanatory. It is a lawsuit in which a patient sues their doctor for performing an unnecessary hysterectomy. Unnecessary surgery refers to any surgical procedure that a surgeon performs on a patient, that the patient does not want or need. The procedure does not treat an injury, or improve the individual’s life in any way. Compensation for an unnecessary hysterectomy could include any compensation associated with medical negligence or malpractice.
Generally speaking, plaintiffs may recover compensatory damages for the following:
- Lost wages due to being unable to work;
- Additional medical bills;
- Pain and suffering; and
- If the patient dies due to the failed surgery, their family may file a wrongful death suit and be awarded monetary damages.
Punitive damages, which are intended to punish the defendant, may be available if it is found that the harm was intentional. In some states, awards for non-monetary damages such as pain and suffering are capped at a certain amount.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with a Hysterectomy Lawsuit?
Because hysterectomy compensation claims involve many different areas of law, you should consult with a skilled and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer if you are experiencing hysterectomy legal issues.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand the differences between negligence and malpractice, as well as the differences between a botched surgery and an unnecessary surgery. Additionally, they can also represent you in court as needed and attempt to recover any damages you may be entitled to.