Going into surgery typically means putting your life in the hands of the person performing the operation and the anesthesiologist helping you fall asleep during the procedure. Sadly, for a minority of patients undergoing surgery, a medical mistake could drastically impact their future.
One of the more common forms of surgical malpractice involves a surgeon operating on the wrong side of the body. When this happens, the consequences for a patient could be life-altering or even fatal.
Removing the wrong body part isn’t a mistake you can undo
Performing parts of a knee replacement surgery on the wrong joint is a major mistake, but it is one that a patient could theoretically recover from in time. However, operations intended to remove body parts, once completed, are not reversible and can produce catastrophic damage for the victim.
For example, if someone has a tumor in one of their kidneys and the doctor removes the healthy kidney, that individual may not be able to have the other kidney removed without risking death. There have also been cases of doctors needing to remove a single ovary from a woman and instead of removing the wrong one both were removed, ultimately leading to permanent infertility.
Wrong side surgery also means more medical procedures
In addition to the direct and obvious harm caused by operating on the wrong part of the body, the victims of this kind of surgical malpractice also have to deal with the consequences of undergoing corrective treatment and getting the procedure they should have had in the first place.
It is hard enough for the human body to recover from one surgery. Having two or three in a short amount of time could mean a very painful and difficult recovery. Those who suffered a wrong-side surgery, as well as those who lost a loved one because of a surgical error, may have grounds to pursue a medical malpractice claim against the doctor or medical facility involved.