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Were you made aware of a surgical error?

In order to "go under the knife," you have to have a certain degree of trust in the surgeon who will be cutting into your body. You trust that your life is in good hands, and that the surgeon will keep your best interests in mind during the operation.

You understand that every procedure comes with certain risks, but you trust that your surgeon isn't one of them. You sign the paperwork, go through all of the preoperative steps and then put your health, well-being and life into the hands of your surgeon with the confidence that you come out of the surgery without complications and on the road to recovery.

What happens if something went wrong?

You may know right away or it could take some time to figure out that something just isn't right. You may suffer from more pain than you anticipated or your wounds just aren't healing as expected. You may begin to wonder if something went wrong during your procedure that no one told you about afterward.

If something did go wrong during your surgery, your doctor should follow established guidelines by doing the following:

  • Telling you about the mistake within 24 hours of your surgery
  • Explaining what happened
  • Explaining why it happened
  • Showing concern for your well being
  • Expressing remorse
  • Taking steps to correct the problem

Unfortunately, not all surgeons readily admit when they make mistakes. One reason may be due to the fear of legal action. However, another possibility is that admitting an error could damage a surgeon's confidence in his or her abilities. If a mistake happens once, it might happen again. Most surgeons genuinely care about their patients, and need confidence in their abilities in order to do what they do.

Your surgeon's mental well-being isn't your problem

Even though you may agree that surgeons need confidence in order to perform operations, the potential lack thereof doesn't excuse the harm done to you. The error could mean more surgeries, additional treatments and even lifelong repercussions for you. You may incur more medical expenses, lose more time from work and sustain other physical, mental and financial damages as a result.

An apology often isn't enough to fix those issues. You may want to obtain information regarding your rights and legal options. It may turn out that a medical malpractice claim is appropriate under the circumstances. These cases often present a significant challenge, but fortunately, you don't have to go through the process alone. You may make use of legal resources here in Albuquerque as others have done before you.

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