Elective Surgery Can Result In Medical Malpractice


You might already know that all medical professionals must competently treat their patients with the type of care prescribed by the medical profession.  Once the doctor patient relationship is born, certain rules must be followed.

Experienced medical malpractice attorneys know that the rules are basic.  Doctor’s must not unjustifiably deviate from the standard of care to the extent that preventable and foreseeable harm is caused to the patient.  In short, don’t harm the patient when such could have and should have been avoided.

This is stated in simple terms and proving medical malpractice is a much more complex process in practice.  That is why experienced medical practice attorneys are used to help injured patients understand and enforce the patient’s rights.

One right you have is to receive competent care regardless of the kind of health care received; minor, complex, required, or elective procedures.  Therefore, even if you elect to undergo medical treatment that is not medically “necessary”, you can still sue a doctor for medical malpractice if he or she commits negligence.  This is because the treating medical professional must not unnecessarily harm the patient whenever he or she is treating the patient, no matter what the basis for the treatment is.

You probably have guessed that cosmetic surgery is a type of elective surgery.  This includes “nose-jobs”, face lifts, tummy tucks, liposuction, breast implants, and the like.  But elective surgery does not mean that the procedure was not necessary or is frivolous in some manner.   Rather, elective surgery is simply a phrase that refers to non-emergency surgery.  Therefore, do not think of elective surgery as being optional, it is just not urgent as is emergency surgery.

Other types of elective surgery are exploratory surgery, hernia surgery (although hernias can sometimes lead to needing emergency surgery), some gallbladder procedures, and foot surgery.  Even mastectomies can be elective.

A growing elective surgery is the gastric bypass.  As obesity continues to rise, and diets, exercising, and medicines cannot help a patient control weight, gastric bypass surgery becomes a viable option.  This procedure, like many other elective procedures, carries very substantial complications.  Gallstones, kidney damage, and postoperative leakage are all injuries that gastric bypass patients have suffered from due to a doctor’s negligence.

Hundreds of gastric bypass patients have died because of surgical complications.  Some patients die shortly after surgery, while the complications suffered by others cause death several or more years after the elective surgery.

In sum, the message given here is that you should not blame yourself for a doctor’s negligence, even if you elected to undergo surgery.  No matter what the elective surgery is: cosmetic; preventative; or exploratory, your rights as a patient are not affected by these types of distinctions.

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at jfisher@fishermalpracticelaw.com.  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.