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Hesitant to Return to a Physician After a Surgical Complication? Studies Suggest You Shouldn’t Be

Written by Berkowitz

surgical procedureAccording to a recent study released from the University of Utah School of Medicine, patients who have suffered a complication post-surgery are best if they return to the same hospital where that complication occurred instead of having their concerns addressed elsewhere. While it may not make sense to go back to the source of your complication, doing so could actually reduce the risk for a death complication.

Why it Makes Sense

Providers who have performed your surgery are more familiar with the procedure, what was operated on, how the procedure turned out, and if there were complications. This allows them to address issues better as they arise. A physician who was not connected to the original procedure may not be able to address the issues as well – nor will he or she fully understand what the surgeons already remember on the case. This could adversely affect the outcome of your recovery and actually lead to further postoperative complications.

There are some benefits to returning to the same hospital where you received the original surgery, including:

  1. If you have returned due to a postoperative complication, you are going to get admitted faster to that facility than in a facility where the surgery did not happen. That is because the facility has access to your chart, the physician will already be on-site, and they can quickly admit you without needing to address your medical records first.
  2. Your serious complications will likely be addressed and treated sooner if you attend the same hospital as well – especially because you will be admitted sooner.
  3. Those who return to the same facility where they received the original procedure were 26 percent less likely to die within three months of the operation and complications.

How Can You Ensure that Physicians Address Your Concerns?

While you have fewer risks if you return to the site where your surgery occurred, you still need to be proactive in your own care and make sure that your concerns are addressed properly. If you are experiencing any serious complications, you need to ask your provider what you can do to limit the complication risks, what went wrong, and more specifically find out how they are going to address the complication. When a patient suffers harm or death due to a surgical complication, how the physicians react is one of the main concerns when determining if malpractice occurred.

Can You Sue for a Surgical Complication?

Not all complications from surgery are considered negligence or malpractice. Instead, you would have to show that the complication was easily foreseeable and preventable, and that the physician did not take the proper steps to avoid the complication. Also, if you went to seek postoperative care and complained about your complications, but they were not properly addressed, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim against that physician.
It is best to have your case assessed by a malpractice attorney. An attorney can review your medical records and determine if the physician acted negligently or if your complication was a normal, well-known risk with the surgical procedure itself. Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation. Contact us online to get started.