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Had surgery to remove a breast lump. Just realized my breast lump is STILL THERE! Is this malpractice?

Bath, MI |

I had breast surgery to remove a lump in my breast on December 19th, 2011. Something was removed and sent to the lab and came back as benign. I previously had a lot of pain and itching in my breast, and continued to have since the surgery. This evening I was finally able to examine my breast (due to the surgery pain I was not able to) and I discovered that the lump I had gone in to have remove is STILL in my breast! I have spent the evening incredibly ill, crying and horrified I still have an unknown lump in my breast. Is this malpractice? What should I do? I plan on calling the doctors office in the morning, but I am not sure I should go back there. Any advice is appreciated.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. I'm sorry to hear about your experience. It is still early to jump to any conclusions about what the lump you're feeling is. You should definitely contact the doctor and ask them for their opinion. The doctor that performed the surgery will be in the best position to know what's going on. Of course, you can seek a second opinion or find another doctor all together, but it's best to remain calm (I know, easier said than done) until you have more information. Hopefully, you're just feeling swelling, inflamation, or scar tissue.

    To prove medical malpractice, you would have to show the doctor breached the standard of care and caused your injuries. Hypothetically, if the lump that was supposed to be removed was not removed or not completely removed and this was a breach of the standard of care, you may have a case if your condition was made worse, and especially if you have to undergo further surgery.

    Keep in mind, that not all medical mistakes are negligence. Mistakes or failed attempts to correct the harmful condition, so long as they are not unreasonable, may not constitute negligence. It's unknown from the facts what risks and complications were disclosed to you to receive your informed consent prior to surgery.

    Medical malpractice cases are expensive to prosecute. You would need to hire a medical expert to opine that the standard of care was breached and caused your damages.

    If you reach a point where you feel medical malpractice occurred, you can request your medical records relating to this condition and procedure and contact a medical malpractice attorney. They will be able to review this matter in more detail.

    I hope everything turns out well.

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  2. I'm sorry to hear about this situation. I agree with the above lawyer that it is too soon to jump to conclusions. You will want to make an immediate appointment to see the doctor and find out what the situation is first. May may also want to see another doctor to see what he thinks happened, before you retain a medical malpractice lawyer in your city to investigate.

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  3. You should seek an immediate second opinion at a Breast Cancer Center with Breast Cancer Specialists. This does not mean that you cancel this morning's follow up appointment because it is possible you have a secondary cancer of a more aggressive nature. By all means, find a Michigan attorney who has experience with medical malpractice cases involving breast cancer and go over the facts of your case with them. Breast Cancer cases are a surprising large segment of the medical malpractice case brought so you should be able to find someone willing to do a consult, but the first priority is making sure you have not had an aggressive recurrence in the same spot.

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