Some people undergo surgical procedures because there is no other way to treat their medical conditions. Surgery is the best option for those with failing joints or accessible tumors that have yet to metastasize. Other people undergo surgery for cosmetic purposes or because they believe an operation is a better option for improving their condition than other standard treatment options.
Whatever the reason for someone’s surgical procedure, they should be able to trust that their surgeon will provide them with a professional standard of care. Proper sanitation, careful anesthesia administration and appropriate aftercare are all crucial to surgical success. Unfortunately, surgeons sometimes make catastrophic mistakes during a procedure that can cause lasting harm to their patients.
One of the more common and frightening mistakes made during surgery is when a surgeon leaves something behind inside a patient. Retained foreign bodies can cause direct harm to someone’s health.
The need for a revision procedure
When there is something that should not be present inside someone’s body, medical professionals will likely need to perform a second surgery to remove that object. Every surgery comes with a degree of risk, and patients may have a substantially longer recovery if they need to undergo a second surgery to correct a mistake made during their first procedure.
Traumatic injuries caused by the object
An item that should not be present in the human body can cause physical harm to the surrounding tissue. Particularly when surgeons leave behind rigid or metallic objects, they can cause trauma to tissue that could lead to bleeding and other medical challenges. If a patient wakes up and moves around before undergoing a revision procedure, the chance of traumatic injury is a serious safety concern.
Increased infection risk
Often, the items left behind after surgery or not clamps or scalpels that will damage the body but instead gauze or soft materials used to absorb the fluids produced by the body during the procedure. These items may not cause direct harm to nearby tissue by cutting into them, but they can cause a major inflammation reaction and possibly serious infection.
The medical consequences of a retained foreign body can drastically affect someone’s recovery and the total costs incurred because of their health challenges. Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is one of the more effective ways of reducing the lasting impact of a major medical error during surgery.