Compensation for painful, hideous scar from laparoscopic surgery?

by Nicole
(Deland, FL, USA)

In May of 2013 I had to have laparoscopic surgery for a large cyst on my ovary. I had two small incisions, a horizontal one above my pubic bone and a vertical one at the bottom of my belly button. The cuts were closed with surgically glue. The incision by my pubic bone was not even noticeable, but the one under my belly button was painful, oozing, and looked like there was a giant boil under my navel.

The Doctor told me that it was just the glue and that the swelling would go down. To this day I have a purplish, painful, hideous looking scar under my belly button that makes me hate looking at my stomach. What should I do? Is this malpractice? Do I deserve some kind of compensation for this? Thanks for any information you can give.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Compensation for painful, hideous scar from laparoscopic surgery?":

Nicole (Deland, FL, USA):

You may be the victim of medical malpractice. To determine whether malpractice occurred will require an investigation since it's often a subjective issue. A summary of the legal definition of medical malpractice is "... when a doctor 'deviates' from medical standard in the community, and as a result of that deviation a patient is injured."

What this means to you is if the existence of your scar is a reasonable side effect for the type of laparoscopic surgery you underwent in the medical circumstances surrounding you, then medical malpractice likely did not occur.

In other words, if most women who undergo laparoscopic surgery end up with the same painful, hideous looking scar, then medical malpractice likely didn't occur. In the alternative, if most women who underwent the same type of surgery do not suffer the same painful scar, then medical malpractice may have occurred.

You would be well-served to visit with several attorneys in your area. An experienced medical malpractice attorney will have the resources to determine if you have the basis of a valid claim, including sending you to medical specialists. Because malpractice attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, you won't have to pay for medical examinations, court filing fees, or any other costs related to your claim.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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