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Surgery gone bad, making my cancer far more advance

San Jose, CA |

I was diagnosed with initial stage prostate cancer, that could be cured either with surgery or radiation. Following my urologist advice I went for surgery, with the robotic Da Vinchi. Post surgery, the surgeon told me that he managed to remove all the gland and the cancer.
3 months later, I found out that he left all the cancer inside, and exposed (no longer contained)
I need to go through a very tough treatment, including hormone therapy and radiation. Cure is doubtful.
Is this considered mal practice?
If this is not mal practice, may I be compensated for my worsened condition due to the surgery?
Can I be compensated for my much more risky cancer stage and risks due to the additional treatment?

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer
Posted

Whether your surgeon committed malpractice by failing to excise all the cancerous tissue depends on whether a jury decides the surgeon "failed to use the level of skill, knowledge, and care in diagnosis and treatment that other reasonably careful surgeons would use in similar circumstances" (this is the California jury instruction). To decide this question, jurors hear from medical experts that each side hires. An attorney usually can't tell you whether malpractice happened (unless it's something very obvious, like a pair of scissors left inside you) without having your medical records reviewed by the appropriate expert.
If there wasn't any malpractice, than there's no reason the surgeon (or the surgeon's insurer) would compensate you for anything.

Posted

I am not licensed in your state, but you should contact a local lawyer right away. You have not indicated when you were advised of the issues in the case and time is ticking. Seldom does delay, if ever, work in your advantage. Prostate cancer is a slow moving form of cancer and you should also continue and seek aggressive treatment. You may have a case, especially if your cancer was contained and cpable of being ressected. Call a lawyer today.

Asker

Posted

Thank you... I had the surgery in Mid March 2012. I found out about the incoplete removal in the begining of July. I started a new treatment today... :-) What is the best way to find a reputable lawyer in our area?

Asker

Posted

One more thing... I actually found out that tis is something that happens more frequently then you would think, when a robotic system called Da Vinchi is used. The company that builds the system is aware of its shortcoming and came up with an enhancement that is in clinical trial right now. Can this company also be involved in a law suit? When a car manufacturer has a safety issue it is sverely punished. What is the rule for medical equipment that is flawed (even if it FDA approved)?

Posted

Medical malpractice is a tough nut to crack. You must prove that the meical professional performed below the standard of care for like doctors in your given community. If this was a governmental entity, like a county hospital, you have to file a governmental tort claim within 6 months of the malpractic or from when you first discovered the malpractice. You will have to have at least one very qualified surgeon willing to testify that the conduct of the other surgeon amounted to malpractice. Remember, doctors are allowed to make mistakes. That's whey ot os called the practice of medicine. It is jjust that the mistake, if there was one, is not the type of mistale that is made by other similarly qualifies surgeons. I would strongly urge you to contact a personal injury attorney who specializes in medical malpractice in the San Jose area immediately. Good luck.

Legal Disclaimer: If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. Attorney Grennier is licensed to practice law in California. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Attorney Grennier strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

Posted

It certainly sounds as if there may be a cause of action for medical malpractice. You should review the AVVO website to find attorneys who specialize in medical malpractice in your area. They will likely have a physician available to them who will be able to review your medical records and determine whether or not there was malpractice.