Surgery comes with a significant amount of danger. Regardless of what part of the body the surgery is being performed on and how simple or routine the surgery is, there are always underlying risks. The patient may respond negatively to medication, the condition could be different from what is expected or the surgeon may make a mistake. Most Oregon patients feel their surgeons are knowledgeable and competent and wouldn't make a horrible mistake like removing the wrong body part, but surgical errors do happen. A woman in another state learned this firsthand when a surgeon mistakenly removed her kidney during back surgery.
A woman entered a hospital to have back surgery to ease the pain she had been suffering with for years. The operation was being performed by three surgeons: one general surgeon who was to cut the patient open and two orthopedic surgeons who would treat her spine. When the general surgeon opened her pelvic cavity to gain access to her spine, he noticed what he thought was a malignant mass. He made a judgment call and decided to remove the mass without waiting to consult the patient, her medical records or anyone there on her behalf.
The mass the surgeon removed was not a tumor at all. It was instead the woman's kidney. She had what is known as a pelvic kidney, a kidney that never ascended into its normal location during her development and instead stayed in the pelvic cavity. Her condition was known and was in her medical records, which the surgeon did not review.
The woman filed malpractice lawsuits against the surgeons. The lawsuit against the general surgeon was recently settled for an undisclosed amount. Patients in Oregon who have also been victimized by surgical errors have the right to enlist the aid of a knowledgeable attorney to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Although a botched surgery cannot be undone, financial compensation may be obtained to help offset additional expenses that will arise as a result of the medical complications. Having to undergo surgery is troubling enough on its own, and one shouldn't have to worry about the surgery being performed on the wrong body part or other careless errors by the medical staff.