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Do we qualify for a medical malpractice attorney? Colon cancer surgery gone wrong.

Shelby, NC |

Husband had surgery for colon cancer. The surgery supposedly went well. Two days later, he was rushed to ICU. There they discovered his intestine had been nicked during surgery and he was extremely toxic. Different surgeon took over,opened again , kept him open, putting him into a drug-induced coma, paralysis and a breathing vent. Tried to close him 3 days later, unable because of swelling, then closed him up 2 days after that. He was septic all this time. After trying to pull him out of the coma and paralysis, he was still doing poorly with numerous problems and nobody was sure if he would pull through or not. He is now, 5 weeks later, out of ICU and in a nursing home for rehab. and will be out of work much longer than anticipated with in -home care besides. Where do we stand?

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Attorney answers 4


Since the nick was caught relatively early on, a nicked intestine is a common risk of colon surgery, and your husband is on his way to recovery, it may be difficult to make a case for medical malpractice. If you would like to be sure, I would contact a medical malpractice attorney in your area, though beware that you may be asked to share the cost of an expert review. I hope that your husband's cancer was caught early, and that he makes a full recovery.


Nicks to the organ or even adjacent anatomy during an invasive surgery are considered accepted risks of the procedure. This means that the injury can happen even in the absence of negligence & when the surgeon does everything right. In other words, the injury itself is not proof of a surgical misadventure. You need more than that to show that the doctor used poor technique. It usually becomes an insurmountable proof-problem as the operative report will probably give you no clues as to what the surgeon did wrong (if anything).


Yes a nick can happen, but given what your husband went through I would contact a local attorney who handles malpractice case to review the records. Since we don't know where the "nick" was, you can't presume it is just a known complication. While it is a possibility, given the problems your husband has had, it is worth looking into.


Typically it is a risk incident to the procedure, but have a local malpractice lawyer look into it nonetheless.

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