Hysterectomies are one of the most common surgical procedures for women. Studies estimate that about 1 in 9 women will have a hysterectomy in their lifetime. About 600,000 of these surgeries are performed annually in the U.S.
Doctors perform hysterectomies because of dangerous cancers and benign health conditions after more conservative treatments have failed. Despite their frequency, hysterectomies carry many of the same risks of complications as other surgeries, especially when surgical teams make negligent mistakes.
If you’ve suffered injuries or complications after undergoing a hysterectomy, you may have a legal claim if your harm occurred due to your healthcare provider’s negligence. Contact the Law Office of Kelley J. Johnson for a free initial case review to discuss your care with an Indianapolis hysterectomy lawyer. During your case review, you can learn about your legal options for pursuing financial recovery from a negligent doctor or other responsible party.
Our firm focuses on helping clients harmed by medical malpractice. Our proven record includes millions of dollars recovered for clients in settlements and verdicts. When you choose us to help you after suffering hysterectomy malpractice, you can expect a caring, compassionate environment at our firm.
What Is a Hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure during which a doctor removes a woman’s reproductive organs, such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, or cervix. A doctor may perform a hysterectomy after other, less invasive treatments have failed to resolve a woman’s medical condition or when other treatments won’t work for a health issue.
Some of the health conditions that may lead to a patient undergoing a hysterectomy include:
- Ovarian, uterine, and cervical cancer
- Irregular or abnormal bleeding
- Uterine fibroids
- Chronic uterine pain
- Uterine prolapse
Because a hysterectomy removes the uterus, the procedure leaves the woman unable to bear children.
What Are the Different Types of Hysterectomy Procedures?
Doctors categorize hysterectomies based on the tissues removed during the surgery. The three main types of hysterectomy procedures include:
- Subtotal hysterectomy – Removal of only the upper part of the uterus, with the cervix left in place
- Total hysterectomy – Removal of the uterus and cervix
- Radical hysterectomy – Removal of the uterus, cervix, surrounding tissues, and sometimes the ovaries and fallopian tubes
Depending on the type of hysterectomy performed, doctors will use different types of surgical methods, such as:
- Vaginal hysterectomy – Surgeons remove tissues through the woman’s vagina.
- Laparoscopic surgery – Surgeons make small incisions to access and remove tissues.
- Robotically assisted surgeries – This type of surgery enables less-invasive incisions to access and remove tissues.
- Open surgery – Surgeons make a large incision across the abdomen, typically when performing a radical hysterectomy.
Less-invasive surgical procedures typically have faster recovery times and lower infection risk than open surgery.
What Problems Can Occur During Hysterectomy Procedures?
A hysterectomy has inherent risks of complications. However, some complications and injuries suffered by patients undergoing a hysterectomy occur due to the surgical team’s negligent errors.
Some examples of problems that can occur during a hysterectomy include:
- Excessive, potentially life-threatening bleeding
- Damage to the ureter, the duct between the kidneys and bladder
- Blood clots which can travel to the heart, lungs, or brain and cause a life-threatening pulmonary embolism, heart attack, or stroke
- Damage to the bladder, which may result in difficulties with bladder control
- Infection of the surgical site
- Perforation of the small intestine or bowel
- Hysterectomy/vaginal vault granulation, or a complication in which scar tissue forms at the top of the vagina
- Anesthesia errors, such as adverse or allergic reactions to anesthesia, administration of too much anesthesia, or use of too little anesthesia
- Surgical equipment or materials left inside the patient
How Do You Prove Medical Malpractice After a Hysterectomy Case?
You need evidence to prove that the harm you suffered due to a hysterectomy occurred because of medical malpractice. Examples of evidence you might use to prove that malpractice occurred during your hysterectomy include:
- Your medical records
- Pre- and post-operative notes
- Anesthesiologist notes
- Testimony from members of the surgical team
- Eyewitness testimony
In most cases, you will also need medical expert testimony to help prove that the doctor or surgical team committed malpractice during your hysterectomy procedure. A medical expert can provide a written report, deposition, and trial testimony to explain the applicable standard of care in your surgery and how the doctor or surgical team fell short of that standard.
Although the specifics of the standard of care vary from patient to patient, experts generally define the standard of care as the treatment decisions and actions that other health professionals of similar training and experience would undertake in similar circumstances. A medical expert can explain how your surgical team’s conduct deviated from the standard of care and how those actions caused your complications or injury.
How Can the Lawyers at the Law Office of Kelley J. Johnson Help with My Case?
When you believe you may have suffered complications from a hysterectomy due to negligent errors by your doctor, turn to a hysterectomy malpractice attorney from the Law Office of Kelley J. Johnson to help you pursue the money you need to heal. Let our firm handle all the details of your case while you focus on your treatment, including:
- Thoroughly investigating your surgery and post-operative care to obtain evidence showing that your complications or injuries occurred due to medical malpractice
- Identifying all potentially liable parties, such as the doctor, members of the surgical team, or the hospital or healthcare facility where you underwent the hysterectomy
- Documenting your medical complications, long-term or permanent impairments, and financial expenses to determine how much compensation you might deserve
- Working with medical experts to build a compelling case against those responsible for your injuries
- Filing your legal claims and communicating with insurance adjusters, hospital representatives, and/or defense attorneys to pursue a fair settlement for you
- Going to court and trial, if necessary, to demand the financial recovery and justice you deserve from negligent healthcare providers
After you’ve suffered harm from a medical professional’s negligence, get legal help to demand accountability and compensation. Contact the Law Office of Kelley J. Johnson today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Learn how our hysterectomy lawyer in Indianapolis can pursue justice for the injuries you’ve experienced because of a healthcare provider’s malpractice.