What to do if a surgeon repaired a hernia with sutures that do not dissolve?

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What to do if a surgeon repaired a hernia with sutures that do not dissolve?

When I gained some weight later, these sutures caused more hernias, requiring surgery. Is this surgeon liable?

Asked on April 26, 2012 under Malpractice Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is possible the surgeon is liable. He/she could be if one or another of the following applied:

1) Since malpractice is the failure to provide medical care that meets current generally accepted standards, if the current standards for a hernia operation of this type call for dissolving sutures and the use non-dissolving ones is not considered an acceptable alternative; or

2) Regardless of the general norms, if there were contraindications in your specific case (based on your lifestyle, age, overall health, weight, the hernia, etc.) for the use of non-dissolving sutures, which the surgeon ignored; or

3) There should have been follow-up (e.g. removing the sutures), which the surgeon failed to provide; or

4) You should have been warned against weight gain, but were never given that warning.

In otherwords, it's not enough that you suffered an adverse consequence; rather, the surgeon must have done something "wrong" for there to be malpractice. As you can imagine, this is a very fact-senstive question; therefore, the best way to proceed would be to meet with experienced malpractice  counsel, who can evaluate whether you may have a case, what it might be worth, and the cost to pursue it.


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