What can I do if I had a hernia surgery a little over a month ago and have developed an infection?

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What can I do if I had a hernia surgery a little over a month ago and have developed an infection?

My incision recently started getting sore then got infected looking. There was a small puss boil so I popped it; inside there was the end piece of a string. I pulled about an inch and a half long piece out 2 days ago. There is still more in there; it is now visible just under the skin. The incision was supposed to have no stitches to remove as they were supposed to use dissolving stitches under the skin and super glue the top layers. I am not sure what to do about this. I need to go to the doctors to have it looked at but they kind of tend to stick together in my town and I don’t want to go back to the original doctor.

Asked on January 4, 2016 under Malpractice Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, you should not just pull it out yourself: you should go to a doctor to have it removed. There are two reasons: the more important one is your health--you don't want to do something wrong and injure or hurt yourself. The secondary reason is that if you remove the string yourself and there is some negative consequence, you most likely will not be able to recover compensation, since you would have a hard time proving that the injury, etc. was due solely to the presence of the string and not due to something you, an untrained person did.
So first, get your condition taken care of. Then if there is some significant medical problem causing disability or impairment, leaving a noticeable scar, causing you to incur significant additional medical costs, etc., you may have a malpractice claim if the string should not have been in there, as you seem to indicate. Bear in mind that compensation is limited to or related to your costs, physical injury, and life impairment, so if you are fortunate enough to not suffer any significant harm or costs, you have no viable claim--with no injury or costs, there is no compensation you'd be able to get and no point to suing.


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