Do I have a case if a surgeon left multiple staples in a my uterus when it wasn’t needed?

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Do I have a case if a surgeon left multiple staples in a my uterus when it wasn’t needed?

I had my appendix removed two years ago. I recently had surgery again because I had horrible pain in my abdomen. I had horrible and painful periods, suffered from miscarriages, painful intercourse, etc. It seemed to only get worse. I had thought it was from my endometriosis and finally found a doctor willing to help me. I had surgery this last Friday and my surgeon found multiple staples in my uterus that were put there by my surgeon who took out my appendix. My doctor said the staples could have been making my pain much worse. The doctor who took out my appendix never said anything about leaving staples in my uterus. I am angry and hurt that I have been dealing with this pain and miscarriages when this whole time I’ve had staples in my uterus for no reason. So my question is do I have a case against this surgeon and the hospital who took out my appendix?

Asked on August 21, 2016 under Malpractice Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You *may* have a case. The issue is--and perhaps the surgeon who took out the staples has already told you this--whether it was careless or negligent to leave the stables in your uterus, or whether it was (two years ago) considered standard or at least acceptable procedure to leave them in?
If it was then standard or acceptable procedure, there is no malpractice; even if the outcome was unfortunate for you, the doctor did what a reasonable doctor would have done, and that is the test for malpractice: whether the medical care was what a reasonable physician, under the then-prevailing standards of care, would have done (no malpratice) or not (possible malpractice).
If on the other hand, it would have been considered negligent or careless or substandard to leave the staples in, judging by the then-prevailing standards of medical care, then yes--in that event, you have malpractice case, since malpractice is the provision of negligent medical care.
If you have reason to believe (such as from other doctors) that leaving the staples in was careless, then you may be able to sue to recover for the cost of removal and for "pain and suffering" for the pain and life impairment you suffered. If this is the case, you should speak with a medical malpractice attorney right away, before more time goes by.


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