Can I sue a doctor for not taking out non-dissolvable stitches?

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Can I sue a doctor for not taking out non-dissolvable stitches?

I had a C-section and I went back to have my stitches removed. The doctor pulled and pulled on them and couldn’t get them out so she told me that they would dissolve up and she left them in. A week later I had to go back to the doctor because a small place had came open and was bleeding. I had to make several trips back to the doctors office and the cut had to be packed for weeks.

Asked on April 13, 2012 under Malpractice Law, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is not necessarily the case that it is malpractice to use non-dissolvable stitches. Malpractice is the renderering of medical care which fails to meet current generally accepted standards for such condition or treatment; if the use of nondissolvable stiches is, as I believe, acceptable, then there likely was no malpractice committed in the choice of stitching.

It's possible there was malpractice in the failure to properly remove the stitches. However, while you may wish to speak with a malpractice attorney about whether you might have a viable cause of action in this regard, bear in mind that malpractice cases can among the most expensive ones to bring, due to the necessity of having a medical expert witness. Since you can only recover your out-of-pocket or unreimbursed medical costs, lost wages (if any), plus possibly an amount consumensurate with the duration and severity of pain and disability, it may well be that you could not recover enough to make a malpractice case viable.


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