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Legal Recourse for Surgery Complications

Legal Recourse for Surgery Complications

Many surgeries are inherently risky procedures. Complications are not uncommon. However, not all complications are unavoidable. Medical errors leading to complications are preventable, yet they still occur with frightening regularity.  

Fortunately, patients who experience avoidable surgical complications have legal recourse for the harm they have experienced.  

Common Surgical Complications  

Out of the many possible complications during surgery, a handful occur at a much higher rate. When negligence is the cause, the patient can seek economic and non-economic damages.  


Shock in response to surgery is not rare. It involves a sudden and extreme drop in a patient’s blood pressure. Surgeons must act quickly to stabilize the patient with the proper treatment. Failure to do so is likely medical malpractice. 


A hemorrhaging patient is losing blood, which can lead to further complications and death. Sometimes, a surgeon will unintentionally knick a vein or an artery and cause massive hemorrhaging. In other cases, an unforeseeable cause may be the reason behind a hemorrhage.  

Blood Clots 

Pulmonary embolisms are dangerous blood clots that can break away from their original location and travel to the lungs. There, they can cut the flow of blood and cause death. Treatment must be prompt and will depend on many factors, such as the location of the clot, the type of surgery in question, and the current state of the patient, to name a few.   


Surgery involves piercing the body’s main line of defense: the skin. Doing so without care allows all manner of dangerous bacteria to wreak havoc on a patient. Infections can develop that slow the healing process, destroy local tissue, and even threaten death by spreading throughout the body by way of the bloodstream. 

Urinary Retention 

Urinary retention is not uncommon after surgery as the patient recovers from the effects of the anesthesia. Careful procedures are required to allow the patient to release their urine and avoid dangerous consequences.  

Other surgical complications may include: 

  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia 
  • Adverse reaction to other medication 
  • Death 

When a medical malpractice lawyer takes a case, they immediately set out to trace the complication back to a cause. When negligence is a factor, there may be a case for surgical malpractice. 

Legal Recourse for Surgery Complications 

The law holds surgeons and other medical professionals to high standards and allows victims of their malpractice to pursue damages. However, the law also imposes a high standard on medical malpractice claimants. They must make a strong case for medical malpractice based on medical evidence and legal principles. This high standard makes the services of a medical malpractice lawyer indispensable.  

Proving Surgical Malpractice 

Proving surgical malpractice is a complex matter that begins with a certificate of merit. This document contains a sworn declaration from the attorney of record confirming that a licensed physician has been consulted, has reviewed the case, and believes that there are reasonable grounds for the lawsuit to proceed.   

Completing this step requires a thorough enough analysis of the case to reasonably believe that malpractice has occurred. By the time it has been filed, the attorney will know which party or parties may be liable.  

Liability arises when a surgeon or surgeon-adjunct professional fails to discharge their duty to a patient according to accepted standards of safety and care. Actions that may lead to an allegation of surgical negligence malpractice include: 

  • Wrong-site surgery 
  • Items left inside the patient 
  • Wrong procedure or wrong patient 
  • Improper sterilization 
  • Mislabelled or lost specimens 
  • Improper use of surgical tools and equipment 
  • Improper monitoring 
  • Improper medication administration 
  • Improper supervision 
  • Operating without proper experience 
  • Operating while fatigued or drowsy 
  • Operating or caring for a patient while impaired 

The list goes on, sadly. Fortunately, the majority of patients seeking surgical care in New York’s hospitals and surgical centers receive the high-quality care they deserve. However, many of them do not.  

Their medical malpractice lawyers work diligently to discover the precise acts of medical malpractice that have harmed their clients. Once the malpractice has been discovered and can be proven to be the cause of the patient’s injuries, attorneys then seek to establish damages. 

Damages for Surgical Malpractice 

Damages for medical malpractice cover various economic and non-economic losses, including: 

  • Pain and suffering 
  • Medical debt related to surgical malpractice 
  • Loss of enjoyment of life 
  • Lost income and wages 
  • Funeral and burial expenses 

New York medical malpractice lawyers work meticulously to ensure that all compensable damages are identified and recovered. 

Let Silberstein, Awad & Miklos Fight for You! 

Have you experienced complications after a surgical procedure? If so, you don’t have to suffer in silence. Silberstein, Awad & Miklos is ready to listen and potentially fight to recover the money you need to deal with your losses. Contact our office for a free consultation today.