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Dealing with a wrong site surgery

Of all of the expectations that you may have of your healthcare providers in Providence County, the most basic may be that they know which area or body part needs to be treated whenever you go in for surgery. Yet for many of the clients that we here at DeLuca and Weizenbaum have worked with, even that basic expectation is not met. Most may imagine a wrong site surgery as being a grandiose error such as a doctor amputating that wrong body part. In truth, however, these errors can go far beyond that.

A wrong site surgery is any procedure performed in the incorrect area or on the wrong part of the body. Incidents may include:

  •          Operations on paired structures that are done on the wrong side.
  •          Procedures done in the correct anatomical area but on the wrong part.
  •          An incorrect procedure being performed on the right body part.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, wrong site surgery errors occur in one of every 112,000 procedures. If you believe that you might be that single unfortunate case, you should know what to do in the immediate aftermath of a perceived error.

The first thing to do is confirm your suspicions. Often the error will not be readily apparent; rather, you may continue to suffer from the issues that prompted the surgery in the first place. Ask a trusted physician (not the one who operated on you) to examine you as well as your surgical documentation. If an error is discovered, schedule the procedure to be performed by another surgeon as soon as possible. Once your health concerns have been addressed, then you may want to assess your options. Ideas on how to best handle cases of surgical errors such as this can be found throughout our site. 

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Providence Personal Injury Office

199 North Main Street
Providence, RI 02903

Fax: 401-453-1501
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