Foreign object left in my shoulder

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Foreign object left in my shoulder

I just had a slap repair on my right
shoulder. I awoke in recovery to a portable
xray machine. Once out of recovery my surgeon
told me that a 3mm piece of a needle tip had
broken off during the surgery but he was
unable to find it. It showed up on the xray
and he just laughed it off and told me it’s
no big deal and nothing to worry about. I am
concerned that it could travel and cause me
problems down the road. Do I have the right
to make him go back in and take it out and
does this kind of situation warrant having
attorney… Any advice would be greatly
appreciated.

Asked on April 16, 2016 under Malpractice Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can't force *him* to take it out, if he won't. You can have another surgeon take it out and try to bill the first surgeon. If he won't pay you voluntarily, in theory you could sue him, but it would likely not be worthwhile unless you end up paying thousands of dollars out of pocket for the surgery: to recover money, you'd have to show that 1) the needle tip needed to be removed--that it was not wholly harmless--which means hiring a medical expert/doctor to testify in court; and 2) you can only recover your out-of-pocket cost of any such surgery. Therefore, if you have it removed, unless you have a large out-of-pocket bill, it may not be worthwhile.
If you don't remove it, if it does later cause you trouble, you *may* have a malpractice suit for any injuries, harm, or later medical costs you incur: it depends on the circumstances and how long after this procedure any harm  incurs. It is recommended however, that you look to your health first, rather than strategizing about what may give you a potential lawsuit later.
You can also file a complaint against this surgeon with the state medical licensing board.


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