The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates in its Hysterectomy Surveillance report that hysterectomies are the second most frequently performed surgical procedures for American women (Caesarean sections are in first place). These procedures are being performed on a daily basis as a result of fibroids, uterine cancer, endometriosis and uterine prolapse.
If and when a hysterectomy is considered your best course of action, you and your surgeon must decide which of the three common surgical procedures would be the best choice: a total abdominal hysterectomy, a vaginal hysterectomy, or a laparoscopic hysterectomy.
- Total abdominal (invasive) hysterectomy. A cut is made in the abdominal wall, slicing though skin and connective tissue to reach the uterus. The cut can be vertical (running from just below your navel to just above your pubic bone) or horizontal (running across the top of your pubic bone) and be up to five inches in length. Your uterus is then fully cut out and removed through the incision. The advantage of a total abdominal hysterectomy is that the surgeon can get a complete, unobstructed look at the uterus and surrounding area to check for any irregularities and make sure the entire uterus is fully removed.
- Vaginal (semi-invasive) hysterectomy. A small incision is made in the top of the vagina. Through the incision, the uterus (and cervix, if necessary) is carefully separated from its connective tissue and removed through the vagina. Although the surgeon has less room and a decreased visual of the surrounding area, vaginal hysterectomies are less painful and cause less scarring than total abdominal hysterectomies.
- Laparoscopic (non-invasive) hysterectomy. Special surgical tools are used to operate through small incisions in the abdomen and vagina in order to cut the uterus into small pieces. These pieces are then removed through the small incisions. Scarring and recovery time is minimal, but depending on the tools and how they’re used, you may be exposed to increased risks.
Dangerous Risks and Complications of Hysterectomy Negligence
According to a National Women’s Health Network Fact Sheet, 20 million women in the United States have had hysterectomies and over half a million new hysterectomies are performed each year. Unfortunately, even though it is a popular procedure, hysterectomy risks are still extremely high (especially when it comes to negligence and malpractice). The most common injuries associated with hysterectomy malpractice claims are:
- Tearing of the bladder. When the bladder is accidentally torn and the tear goes unnoticed, urine can leak from the compromised bladder and cause infection.
- Ripping of the bowel. If the bowel is accidentally punctured without notice or repair, fecal matter can leak into the abdominal cavity causing peritonitis and sepsis.
- Spreading of cancerous tissue. Hysterectomy tools called power morcellators are used during laparoscopic hysterectomies to cut the uterus into small pieces using a rotary blade. FDA reports suggest that these types of tools can spread cancerous cells from the pulverized uterus deeper into your abdomen and pelvis
- Causing of peritoneal (abdomen lining) damage. All three types of hysterectomies require the surgeon to carefully and meticulously disconnect and remove the uterus from the pelvic and abdominal cavities. When the surgeon isn’t 100% steady, he can cause excess cuts, tears, and wounds within the abdomen that can easily become infected and cause a lot of pain.
Your Body, Our Fight
No one should ever have to deal with the consequences of someone else’s mistake, especially when that someone else was supposed to be a trustworthy doctor. If you believe that a recent hysterectomy has caused you internal harm, you do not have to suffer alone. Call us today to learn your legal rights and options for filing a malpractice claim.
Don’t allow your doctor’s mistake to cost you everything. You deserve proper care, medical expenses and justice for what has happened to you and we’ll fight to make sure you get them. Call now to see how we can help you.