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Q&A: Surgeon Malpractice

While getting my tubes tied, my surgeon cut my intestines. Is that medical malpractice in Florida?

A: Experts have said that bowel perforation during surgery to tie fallopian tubes can be medical negligence under certain circumstances. If you have normal anatomy without adhesions, then you have most likely been the victim of medical malpractice.

We cannot of course give full legal/medical opinions without knowing all the facts of your particular case, but we can provide general guidance in these types of situations.

Unless some factor was present in your surgery to make it more difficult than a “normal” tubal ligation surgery, then mistakenly cutting a hole in your bowel or intestine is considered below the standard of care. Adhesions and abnormal anatomy are two of those factors.

Adhesions are fibrous bands that form between tissues and organs, often as a result of injury during surgery. They may be thought of as internal scar tissue. Abnormal anatomy occurs when the shape, size or other feature of your organs or tissues differ from the norm so as to cause a surgeon to mistakenly identify it.

An additional factor to consider in your case is the time at which the surgeon notices that she cut your intestines. If the surgeon did not notice the mistake and concluded the surgery, you were at much higher risk for infection from the contents of your digestive tract spilling into your abdominal cavity. That is likely to make the damage caused by the negligence significantly worse.

However, if the surgeon noticed the mistake quickly and repaired it appropriately, you may not have a strong medical malpractice lawsuit because the surgeon was able to mitigate the damages.

That said, every case requires individual attention to its unique facts. Nothing in this answer should be taken to be the final and definitive analysis of any potential medical malpractice scenario.


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