Minimally invasive surgery is a form of surgery that allows surgeons to use a variety of surgical techniques such as power morcellation to operate on a patient.
This is accomplished without causing major incisions or openings associated with traditional surgeries. It is generally performed on an outpatient basis, although it the procedure can differ depending on the equipment needed to perform the surgery properly.
What are the Benefits of This Type of Surgery?
Minimally invasive surgery requires making tiny incisions on a patient’s body. This allows for:
- Less pain;
- Faster recovery time for a patient;
- Less of a physical mark of surgery, such as smaller scars or no scars at all; and/or
- Little to no time in the hospital.
What was One of the First Types of Minimally Invasive Surgery?
Laparoscopy was one of the first types of surgeries to be considered minimally invasive. This surgery is done via one or more tiny incisions. A surgeon uses a small camera inserted into one of the incisions to operate. The small camera provides a three dimensional and magnified view of the surgical site. There are now many different surgical robots that are used in minimally invasive surgery.
While minimally invasive surgery techniques can minimize some of the risks associated with surgery, injuries can still occur, and legal action may follow after these types of cases.
Can I Sue a Surgeon for Improperly Performing Minimally Invasive Surgery?
In some cases, a surgeon who fails to properly perform a minimally invasive surgery can be sued for medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is a type of personal injury involving a healthcare professional.
In these cases, the health care professional is generally found to be negligent in providing care to a patient, which leads to the care being substandard. This negligence causes a patient to suffer additional injuries and medical expenses.
Who Else can be Held Liable for a Minimally Invasive Surgery Injury?
In other cases, the manufacturer of equipment or robots used in a minimally invasive surgery operation can be held liable. This is especially true if there was a defect associated with the equipment. Defects can take the form of:
- Design Defects: there was a flaw in the way that the robotic surgery equipment was designed, such as a defect with the movement tracking system
- Warning Label Defects: there was a failure or omission with regards to proper warning labels associated with the equipment
- Manufacturing Defect: the design is satisfactory, but there was an error or mishap in the way the product was assembled (for instance, a safety screw was missing)
Retailers of medical equipment can also be held liable in some cases. This can happen for instance if they knowingly sell minimally invasive surgery equipment that is dangerous or has been subject to a recall.
Damages in these types of lawsuits will often cover additional medical and hospital expenses, pain and suffering, loss of wages, and other monetary losses.
Are there any Limitations on Damages?
Depending on the case, as well as state laws, there may be some limits placed on the damages award. For instance, some states impose a cap on medical malpractice cases. The amount or limit can often depend on the state or jurisdiction.
In other cases, it is possible for the injured party to perform actions that might limit the amount that they can recover in a lawsuit. For instance, if they acted in a way that contributes to their own injury, their damages award might be limited or even prohibited. Examples of conduct that might limit a person’s damages award in a surgery injury lawsuit might include:
- Failing to follow a doctor’s instructions during surgery;
- Disregarding a nurse or other personnel’s instructions regarding surgery prep;
- Failing to follow recovery instructions after the procedure; and/or
- Various other forms of conduct that run contrary to a doctor’s advice.
In such cases, the damages may be reduced by a certain percentage or amount. Calculation of the damages may depend on many factors, including the severity of the injury.
Should I Contact a Lawyer about a Minimally Invasive Surgery Lawsuit?
Improperly performed surgery can lead to a lifetime of health problems, which is especially worrisome when the surgery was supposed to be minimally invasive in the first place. If you have been injured by a surgeon during minimally invasive surgery, contact a local personal injury lawyer to understand your legal options. Your attorney can advise you on how to proceed.