Laparoscopic surgery is a relatively new surgical tool with the first laparoscopic hysterectomy performed in 1988. When a doctor opts for laparoscopic surgery, he uses a laparoscope. The benefits of using a laparoscopic device is that a doctor only has to make a small incision to perform the surgery but that also makes it harder for the doctor to see what he is doing. He has to rely on a telescopic rod lens that is connected to a video camera. Some doctors are using the da Vinci robotic device instead of laparoscopes, which has also been known to cause complications. But most gynecologists use laparoscopic surgery when treating endometriosis and to perform hysterectomies.
A very common but painful complication that can occur after these laparoscopic surgeries is a nicked or cut ureter. Our Virginia (VA) personal injury lawyers have firsthand knowledge of just how painful the recovery from this type of surgical malpractice injury can be. Some victims have been known to get sepsis and some have died from the serious complication. Even if you are lucky enough not to get sepsis many patients need to stay in the hospital for at least two weeks. Catheters are inserted and intravenous antibiotics, fluids, and pain relievers are given. Cut ureter victims may need to limit their physical activity and dietary intake for several months to promote full recoveries. Usually this includes having a needle in your back with a tube to a bag that is strapped to your legs to collect your urine (nephrostomy bag) for three months.
So why is a nicked or cut ureter such a common injury after laparoscopic surgery? One explanation is lack of training. Many gynecologists in practice today do not have adequate training in laparoscopic or vaginal surgery. Therefore, many gynecologists were not exposed to advanced laparoscopic surgery during their training. In addition the number of surgical cases that a gynecologist performs each year is in many cases rather low. It has been estimated that the average gynecologist performs 12-15 hysterectomies each year. With so few cases per year it is difficult to learn new techniques that often take 30-50 cases or more to master.
Often, the main surgical error and resulting damage is not because the surgeon cut the ureter but that he or she failed to realize an incision or puncture was made. When this happens retaining an experienced Virginia (VA) medical malpractice attorney is in order. Our team of attorneys has conducted research on the applicable medical malpractice standards of care in gynecologic surgery for many previous clients