Complications and risks of any surgery include an unexpected reaction to anesthesia, infection, or excessive bleeding. Infections are of a particular risk, especially depending on the type of surgery. Peritonitis, the medical name for an infection deep within the body, can occur in the abdominal cavity as a result of colon and rectal surgery and may require additional surgeries to remedy as well as long-term cycles of antibiotics. Excessive bleeding either during the surgical procedure or directly afterwards can also lead to additional surgeries or at the very least blood transfusions. Meanwhile, it’s always a possibility that an ugly or painful scar can form at the incision site.
Common Colon & Rectal Complications
Risks and complications that are directly related to colorectal surgeries include damage to internal organs like the spleen, the bladder, and any connective tubes, perforation of the intestines and the stomach, and injuries to the ovaries, the uterus, or other female internal organs. Incisional hernias and disruptions or breakdowns of the abdominal walls can lead to corrective surgeries, and other complications include having unforeseen difficulties that necessitate either a temporary colostomy or a permanent one.
Open Versus Minimally Invasive Surgeries
There are two major types of colon and rectal surgeries, and they hold specific risks exclusive to each other. In cases of traditional open surgeries that feature large incisions, these risks include injury to blood vessels, blood clots forming and floating through the bloodstream to cause blockages, organ failure, and muscle stripping. Additionally, the recovery period for an open incision is much longer than the other type of major colorectal surgery, which is a much less invasive procedure.
Even minimally-invasive laparoscopic procedures also have complications associated with them. Bleeding is always a risk, as well is organ perforation just as it is in open incision surgeries. Infection, trocar injuries, and blood clots in the lung are also possible risks. In the event of these complications arising during the procedure, surgeons may need to convert to an open surgery instead to protect the health of the patient, even though this opens up the patient to the myriad risks of this more invasive surgery.
Colon and Rectal Surgery Malpractice
No surgeon goes into a procedure hoping that complications or injuries develop during the surgery or afterwards. Despite this, mistakes are sometimes made that lead to these risks becoming reality – and in cases that medical staff was the cause of these injuries, this could mean that they might be held liable for the injuries and any damages that arise from them.
Medical malpractice, which is a subset of professional negligence, can lead to severe injury and even death in many patients, though the incidence rate of medical malpractice, including colon and rectal surgery malpractice, is relatively low. However, if you feel your surgeon might have engaged in professional negligence when it comes to your colorectal surgery, and you’ve suffered physical, emotional or mental harm – or if you’ve suffered financial hardship as a result – you could be eligible for compensation from the medical professional responsible for your injuries. Speak to a qualified medical negligence attorney to ensure that you receive the compensation you might be entitled to as a result.