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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.

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

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.

This website contains general information about legal matters. The information provided by Jacob Regar is not legal advice, and should not be treated as such. The legal information on this website is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied. Jacob Regar makes no representations or warranties in relation to the legal information on this website. You must not rely on the information on this website (including Jacob Regar’s response to your question) as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney or other professional legal services provider. No attorney-client relationship is created through the exchange of information on this website. If you have any specific questions about any legal matter you should consult your attorney or other professional legal services provider. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

Joseph Jonathan Brophy

Joseph Jonathan Brophy

Posted

I generally agree with Mr. Regar's answer, except that he seems to imply that you if there is a suspicion of malpractice yo ushould get your medical records and you should retain an expert. You should do no such thing. Try not to panic, deal with your medical situation first. Don't think about legal action until you know what you've got, if anything. If there was a biopsy and it came back benign, chances are that whatever is there is benign. If it turns out not to be benign, a two month delay in making a diagnosis is very unlikely to affect your chances of a cure. I know there is not much that can terrify a woman worse than a breast mass, but try to keep in mind that the odds are on your side.

Jacob Adam Regar

Jacob Adam Regar

Posted

With all due respect Mr. Brophy I discussed how a medical malpractice case would be prosecuted. I didn't suggest she pick up her medical records tomorrow. I'm not really sure how you interpreted what you did. Maybe read my answer again? Either way thanks for the feedback.

Jacob Adam Regar

Jacob Adam Regar

Posted

Then again ambiguity goes against the drafter... And I know you meant your feedback to be encouraging for the Asker. It's all good.

Joseph Jonathan Brophy

Joseph Jonathan Brophy

Posted

Just a question of emphasis, Mr. Regar. Your advice was very comprehensive. But I thought the Asker mostly needs reassurance right now.

Jacob Adam Regar

Jacob Adam Regar

Posted

Your point is well taken. I appreciate the response.

Posted

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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Posted

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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