Are you suffering from unexpected pain or other serious side effects after a hysterectomy? Did a physician remove your uterus during a procedure without your permission? Do you suspect your doctor may have been negligent or made mistakes? Even under routine circumstances, hysterectomies produce life-altering consequences. These serious medical procedures can be devastating for patients when doctors and other healthcare providers are negligent.
If you are suffering from the severe impact of hysterectomy malpractice, contact the knowledgeable attorneys at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, P.C. right away. We understand the anguish that comes from avoidable medical errors like botched or unnecessary hysterectomies. Our law firm is dedicated to helping women and families demand answers and justice.
Contact our trusted hysterectomy malpractice attorneys now to set up your free consultation.
What Is a Hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure where a doctor removes a woman’s uterus. Physicians typically use this as a last-resort option when other kinds of treatments don’t work for serious health issues related to the uterus. Some of the most common medical conditions for which doctors typically recommend a hysterectomy include:
- Cancers, such as cancer of the cervix or ovaries
- Chronic pain
- Uterine prolapse, where the uterus slips down the vaginal canal
- Fibroids with extreme pain or bleeding
Hysterectomy Procedure Types
Types of hysterectomy procedures range from partial to total. The method a doctor recommends usually depends on the medical issue they are trying to address. Examples of common procedure types include:
- Subtotal hysterectomy, where a physician leaves the cervix in place and removes only the upper part of the uterus
- Total hysterectomy, where a doctor removes the cervix and uterus but leaves other tissues in place
- Radical hysterectomy, where a surgeon removes the cervix, uterus, surrounding tissue, and sometimes also the top part of the vagina, fallopian tubes, and ovaries
The types of surgeries that doctors use depend on the kind of hysterectomy, the surgeon’s experience, and the woman’s medical history. Primary types of surgeries include:
- Minimally invasive surgeries. This includes procedures such as a vaginal or laparoscopic hysterectomy, where the doctor is able to remove the uterus using small cuts and advanced tools. These less-invasive surgeries produce a lower risk of infection. They often allow patients to heal more quickly.
- Open surgery. In this type of procedure, the doctor must make a large incision across the women’s abdomen to remove the problematic organs and tissue. With open surgery, patients often must stay in the hospital for several days to recover. They also face a higher risk of post-surgical infection.
What Are Potential Problems During Hysterectomy Procedures?
As with any surgery, hysterectomy patients face several risks that are inherent to these drastic procedures – even if the doctor does everything right. However, when physicians, medical staff, and facilities are negligent or careless, it exposes patients to an even higher level of risk and can leave with patients with long-term or life-threatening injuries.
Some of the problems that might happen during or as a result of a hysterectomy include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Damage to the ureter, the duct where urine passes to the bladder from the kidney
- Blood clots
- Bladder injury
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Postoperative infections
- Bladder injury
- Hysterectomy granulation or vaginal vault granulation, where scar tissue grows at the top of the vagina
- Small intestine or bowel perforation or obstruction
Proving Medical Malpractice After a Hysterectomy
Not every problem related to hysterectomies qualifies as medical malpractice. Complications during and after major surgeries like hysterectomies sometimes happen in spite of medical professionals doing everything right. Medical malpractice most often comes into play when a physician, facility, or staff:
- Does not inform a patient of possible risks related to the hysterectomy
- Does something negligent that causes or contributes to a surgical or postoperative problem
- Does not get the woman’s permission before performing a hysterectomy, other than in emergency circumstances
In addition, a patient might have a medical malpractice claim if the physician misdiagnosed her with something that caused her to need a hysterectomy or if the doctor performed some other kind of unnecessary hysterectomy. For example, if the physician jumped to perform a hysterectomy on a woman who was bleeding after childbirth without first trying other methods to stop the bleeding, then the physician might be guilty of medical malpractice.
To win a medical malpractice claim, you must prove:
- You had a doctor-patient relationship with the physician.
- The doctor, staff, or facility did something negligent and did not follow the standard of care in treating your medical condition.
- This negligence, wrongdoing, careless, or recklessness caused your injury.
- You are suffering specific damages because of these negligent or reckless actions.
Some types of evidence you might use to prove your case include medical records to show you didn’t have a preexisting condition, testimony from medical experts to explain how your doctor deviated from the standard of care, and pay stubs to show wages lost due to the medical negligence.
Under Illinois law, you must also attach an “affidavit of merit” to your medical malpractice claim. This is a report from a physician in a similar field affirming that you have a “reasonable and meritorious cause” for filing the claim.
How Our Illinois Medical Malpractice Lawyers Can Help
Survivors of hysterectomy malpractice face many challenges on their path to healing. However, when you work with Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, P.C., we will take the pressure off you as much as possible. Our team will handle every aspect of your case and use our depth of experience to fight for the full compensation you are owed.
Our Illinois hysterectomy malpractice attorneys will:
- Launch an in-depth investigation to determine what happened and get you answers
- Gather the evidence necessary to prove your case
- Work with highly respected experts to show the extent of your damages
- Negotiate aggressively with the negligent party’s insurance and legal representatives
- Take your case to trial if that is what’s in your best interests
Don’t wait to get the legal advice you need if you have been the victim of surgical malpractice. Contact Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, P.C. today for a free consultation.