There are times during surgery when the surgeon will be unable to get a good visual field because of significant bleeding or even scar tissue. In that instance, the doctor has an obligation not to cut something he cannot see.
You would think that his common sense. The reality is that if the surgeon cuts something he cannot see, there's a risk that he may cut an adjacent organ and not recognize it.
For example, a surgeon might cut into the bowel accidentally and if the hole is small enough, may not recognize the damage intraoperatively, during surgery. Instead, the bowel injury may only show itself days later as the patient is trying to recuperate.
Although injury to other adjacent organs may be a known risk of the surgical procedure, the surgeon still has an obligation not to cut something he cannot see.
In a medical malpractice case in New York, simply because an injury or complication occurred during a surgical procedure does not in and of itself mean that there was wrongdoing.
We are required to have a medical expert confirm that there was (1) wrongdoing, (2) the wrongdoing caused injury and (3) the injury is significant and/or permanent.
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