Visitor Question

Refusal of abdominal hernia surgery?

Submitted By: Katrina (Moultrie, GA)

I had abdominal surgery in February 2014. It started off as a b/l oopherectomy so that I could take the chemo pill that my oncologist wanted me to. The surgery was ‘started’ at our local hospital by the on-call surgeon at time.

He completely severed my left ureter from my bladder, which required emergency transport to another hospital 40 miles away, and another surgery that night to correct it and also an umbilical hernia that had been found during the first surgery.

Now it seems that I have an upper abdominal hernia and the doctor that’s done most of my surgeries over the past two years says that if I don’t quit smoking he refuses to do the surgery. I have drastically cut back since I found out I had breast cancer, but this same surgeon says that the kind of coancer I had is not related to smoking anyway.

He also now tells me that it may be too late for reconstructive surgery, which I was promised right from the start! Everyone else I know that had a mastectomy had their expanders inserted at the time of the mastectomy.

My question… is any of this considered medical negligence or malpractice? Due to the botched surgery in February, I had to spend 9 extra days in the hospital and two of those were in the ICU. Could I at least get something for my pain and suffering? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Katrina,

From the facts you present, it appears you have the basis of a medical malpractice claim. However, saying you have a med mal claim is one thing, proving it is another.

Malpractice claims are complex. They require expert testimony, and subpoenas duces tecum (subpoenas of records) for the doctor’s previous history of mistakes (if any), hospital charts not readily available, and other information necessary to prevail in your claim.

Fortunately, most med mal attorneys do not charge for initial office consultations. Gather up copies of all of your medical records, receipts for out-of-pocket expenses, and a letter from your employer verifying the days of work you missed while treating and recovering.

Most attorneys have web sites listing the cases they have tried or settled for their clients and the amounts recovered. Make a list and make several appointments with attorneys in your area. After visiting with several of them, you will have a better idea of the viability of your claim and the approximate amount you can expect to recover.

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

Best of luck,

Published: November 28, 2014

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