You might be wondering: what exactly is a hysterectomy? Maybe you’ve heard the term before, but you’ve never really understood what the surgery is. Well, it’s actually quite simple. In its essence, a hysterectomy is a surgery that removes a woman’s uterus. There are a wide variety of reasons for a woman to have this procedure. Often, this surgery is for women that have significant issues with their reproductive system. Typically, though, this surgery is only performed as a last-ditch effort. Now that you have a general idea of what a hysterectomy is, let’s get into some more details! Specifically what to do if you’re a victim of a botched hysterectomy…
Why Get A Hysterectomy?
There are many reasons that a hysterectomy may be selected as the best option. Some conditions that warrant this surgery include:
- Cancer: If there is cancer in any part of the women’s reproductive system, a doctor may recommend a hysterectomy. This could include cancer in the uterus, ovaries, or cervix.
- Chronic pelvic pain: Some women experience chronic pain that isn’t managed by traditional treatments. In these cases, a doctor may recommend removing the uterus.
- Uterine fibroids: Sometimes, fibroids exist in the uterus. These can cause excessive bleeding and pain. Often, performing a hysterectomy provides the best-case scenario.
- Uterine prolapse: This occurs when the uterus slides down and enters the vaginal canal.
- Other chronic issues: Other chronic health issues could warrant a hysterectomy. These could be abnormal bleeding, endometriosis (uterine lining tissue grows outside of the uterus), and adenomyosis (thickening of the uterus).
No matter the reason, a botched hysterectomy is a botched hysterectomy. You can seek legal counsel if you’ve been harmed.
What Are The Different Types Of Hysterectomies?
There are also several types of hysterectomy procedures that you should understand:
Radical hysterectomy: The surgeon removes the entire uterus and the cervix. This is typically only performed when cancer is present.
Total hysterectomy: In these cases, the surgeon only removes the uterus and the cervix.
Subtotal hysterectomy: In this procedure, the surgeon only removes the upper part of the uterus.
Sometimes, the surgeon will sometimes also remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes. It is common for a surgeon to perform these procedures in traditional open surgery. But, they can sometimes use minimally invasive techniques such as:
- Vaginal hysterectomy: Using this technique, the surgeon makes a cut in the vagina and removes the uterus through it.
- Laparoscopic hysterectomy: Surgeons can use a tube with an attached tiny camera. They make small cuts near the belly button for the tube, and they can watch the hysterectomy on a video screen. (Ever heard of the da Vinci robot? Unfortunately, it’s been linked to many botched hysterectomies.)
When Things Go Wrong: A Botched Hysterectomy
While this procedure goes well most of the time, it can sometimes go completely off the rails. Here is just one example of a botched hysterectomy.
40-year-old Amy Reed was a doctor with a successful practice in Boston. She was also the wife of a surgeon and a mother to six children. Sadly, she had stage 4 cancer and an 85% chance of dying within five years. Yet, when doctors ran tests before her scheduled hysterectomy, her tests came back negative.
Amy was told that she was about to have a routine procedure to stop bleeding from benign growths on her uterus. But, it soon became clear that she did indeed have cancer. She had a rare form that doesn’t always show up in routine tests. In the end, the hysterectomy that Amy had actually spread cancerous cells throughout her body. Ultimately, the botched procedure turned a likely treatable disease into a deadly one. Dr. Amy Reed passed away in May of 2017 but left behind a legacy. Reed and her husband were advocates for change, influencing legislation.
Unfortunately, Amy wasn’t alone. Research has found that a particular technique used in about 11% of hysterectomies can worsen cancer in as many as 1 of every 400 patients. Previously, doctors believed this number was closer to 1 in 10,000. These numbers are alarmingly different!
How Do You Know If You Have A Botched Hysterectomy Lawsuit?
We all know that surgeries come with risks and potential side effects. Things can happen even when doctors and surgeons do their jobs perfectly! So what are the normal side effects and complications of a routine hysterectomy?
- Blood clots
- Infection at the surgery site
- Excessive bleeding
- Bad reactions to anesthesia
But patients may also experience negative reactions and side effects that are more than what’s considered reasonable. What are the signs of a botched hysterectomy?
- Injury to the bladder
- Injury to the ureter
- Perforation to the bowel or small intestine
- Other serious complications
Hysterectomy Lawsuits: What You Need to Know
A hysterectomy malpractice lawsuit can come about in two ways. First, a patient can sue for undergoing an unnecessary hysterectomy. Patients can also file a hysterectomy malpractice lawsuit if they suffered damages or injuries from a botched procedure. When it comes down to it, you can get the answers you need and seek justice for harm.
Get Help Today!
Do you believe you or a loved one is a victim of a botched hysterectomy? Then it’s time to give Hampton & King a call today. We offer a free consultation.