Hysterectomies are considered major abdominal surgical procedures, even in the case of less invasive laparoscopic “keyhole” surgeries. As a result, the surgery carries risks of complications of varying degrees.
Hysterectomy Risks and Complications
As a hysterectomy will routinely involve sedation of the patient, one of the most prevalent risks associated with the procedure involves the patient having an adverse reaction to anesthesia. Some patients can develop problems breathing while sedated, while others may have allergic reactions if they have an unknown and undiscovered allergy to the particular medication. Additionally, almost all surgeries carry the risk of bleeding or infection of the surgical incision, especially if patients are exposed to unsterilized or unsanitary conditions during their recovery.
Complications that are specifically associated with hysterectomy procedures can include organs or parts of organs suffering injury or damage during the procedure itself. In some cases, the ureter – or the tube that urine travels through on its way out of the body – can become damaged, though most surgeons can repair this damage during the initial surgery. Perforation of nearby organs such as the bowel or the bladder is also a possibility. Damage to these organs can have negative effects including infection, increased frequency of urination or incontinence; these issues may need to be resolved with a later surgery, and could necessitate the use of a catheter or a colostomy bag to collect waste until then. Finally, one of the most serious conditions, a blood clot that can form in a vein after a surgical operation known as a thrombosis, can interfere with blood flow and reduce the amount of oxygen the blood can carry; in most cases, hysterectomy patients are prescribed blood thinners to prevent clots from forming as they recover.
What do Do if You Do Suffer Complications
If you’ve had a hysterectomy performed and you’ve developed one or more of the complications associated with the procedure, you may require an additional surgery to correct any issues that may have occurred, or you may need medications like strong antibiotics to clear up any bacterial or fungal infections that might accompany your initial surgery.
In many cases, these complications may occur without anyone being at fault. However, in some situations, you might have been subjected to these complications because of mistakes made by medical staff performing your hysterectomy. This could mean that you might be able to bring a civil suit for medical malpractice against your surgeon or any members of their team that made a mistake during your procedure that caused your complications to arise.
If you think you might have been the victim of medical malpractice, you should contact an attorney or a law firm with experience in representing clients who have been affected by medical negligence in the past. A qualified attorney with the appropriate expertise can take the details of your case and determine your chances of prevailing in civil court, and may even offer to represent your legal interests if he or she feels your case is an especially strong one.