Legal Guide

5 Steps To Take When Surgery Goes Wrong

Preparing for any imminent medical procedure or surgery can be an apprehensive and anxious time. Common concerns include worrying about the possible level of pain, the time it may take to recover and ultimately whether the surgery will be a success.

Although we put our complete trust in medical professionals, sometimes complications occur and subsequent problems arise. While it is extremely difficult to predict or prepare for such a situation, there are certain steps a patient can take after the surgery.

Take time to consider your options

While this may not be possible for significant or major surgery, it is advisable to take time to consider your post-procedure options. It is easy to make a rash decision or snap judgement in a situation like this, so weighing up what to do next is important. 

For cosmetic surgery, it is incredibly difficult to guarantee the specific desired results and this may fall short of your expectations. However, this is a common problem that has to be appropriately dealt with.

Document the problem

In as much detail as possible, write a statement that records the issues you have encountered as a result of your surgery. This may involve writing a diary of the daily problems that occur or collecting statements from family and friends.

This will be a valuable resource when it comes to taking any possible further action. An example of medical negligence is no different to a road traffic collision or accident at work. 

Seek advice from your surgeon

Before any procedure, you will almost always speak to a consultant or even the surgeon carrying out the treatment. In addition to providing some much-needed reassurance, this also gives you an opportunity to ask any questions and find out additional information about possible complications or risks.

If the procedure has caused problems or you feel any aspect was not fully explained, your surgeon should be held accountable. It may well be a common side-affect or issue that can be dealt with easily, but it is important to be honest and open about the problems you are experiencing.

Additional surgery may be necessary and, if it is a serious complication, you will be given priority over other less immediate cases.

Contact the institution

If you underwent surgery from a state institution such as an NHS hospital, you may want to contact a higher authority to find out what options are available. The NHS has a complaints procedure that deals with possible cases of medical negligence

For private healthcare, you can either get in touch with the institution that carried out the surgery or your insurance provider. Again, they will have experienced similar situations in the past and can deal with your individual problem.

Take legal action

A medical lawyer or clinical negligence solicitor may be able to help you receive compensation for any surgical procedure that went wrong. With experience in dealing with a wide variety of cases, specialist medical lawyers will be able to provide information and advice on what to do next.

Any legal case could result in significant compensation for medical expenses relating to the original surgery or further procedures that were required as a result. Damages for the suffering encountered and a loss of income may also be possible.

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