A damaged or perforated bowel can occur when surgeons negligently cut the small or large intestines, causing intestinal fluid to leak into the abdominal cavity. Intestinal fluid carries harmful and toxic substances like bacteria that can cause infections and inflammation. Some complications from intestinal fluid leakage, like sepsis or peritonitis (inflammation of the abdominal wall) can be fatal.
If a bowel is damaged during surgery, patients will need to undergo additional surgeries and will often require a prolonged recovery period. Doctors may perform a “colostomy” to re-route the colon away from the perforation.
Many abdominal surgeries carry a risk of bowel damage, and sometimes damage may be unavoidable. But a skilled surgeon with considerable knowledge of the procedure should be able to reduce the risk. It is important for both doctors and patients to be aware of the risks of the procedure before surgery. Patients need to consent to possible risks, and doctors need to know what complications they could face. If a bowel perforation does occur during surgery, doctors should be able to quickly diagnose and treat the problem. If spotted during the surgery, the perforation may be fixed during surgery.
Damaged or perforated bowels can also occur as the result of medical complications like Crohn's disease, appendicitis, ulcers, and other inflammatory bowel diseases.Bowel perforations can also be the result of physical trauma. However, there are instances when the bowel perforation is the result of surgical negligence. Doctors may be liable for malpractice if they:
- Failed to inform the patient of the risk of bowel perforation
- Acted negligently during a surgical procedure
- Failed to diagnose and treat the perforation in a timely manner
Negligent bowel perforation can occur during procedures like:
- Cholecystectomy or gallbladder surgery
- Laparoscopic Surgery
Patients who sustain a perforated bowel but have not been diagnosed and treated timely will suffer symptoms like nausea, pain at the site of perforation, inflammation of the abdomen, and fever with chills. Almost all patients with perforated bowels will need to undergo additional surgical treatment.
Compensation for Medical Malpractice
If you or a loved one were a victim of medical malpractice that resulted in bowel perforation, call Gilman & Bedigian today. Our Maryland medical malpractice firm is dedicated to protecting your family and to recovering the compensation you deserve. We understand that medical malpractice cases are about more than just the physical injury. We will help you recover the compensation you deserve.