Bowel perforation occurs when a nick, tear or cut in a gastrointestinal organ causes its contents to leak out into the abdomen. While certain undiagnosed medical conditions can result in bowel perforation, surgery is also a leading cause. This is principally due to the location of the small and large intestines in the abdomen or pelvis where many operations are performed.
Bowel perforation is a known risk for certain procedures. Your doctor or surgeon has a duty to inform you of this risk. More importantly, improper surgical technique and other forms of surgical malpractice can also cause bowel perforation during abdominal surgeries or laparoscopic procedures.
Any degree of gastrointestinal perforation is a medical emergency. Failure to promptly detect and treat bowel perforations can lead to life-threatening complications. As toxic waste or stomach acid seeps into the abdominal cavity, a chain reaction of worsening symptoms can lead to deadly infection and sepsis. Peritonitis, or inflammation of the abdominal wall, can progress to organ failure and death.
Even when swiftly treated, severe perforations can still result in lengthy hospitalizations and multiple surgeries. A colostomy (rerouting of the intestines) may become necessary. Long-term consequences are not uncommon.
If you or a loved one has suffered the horror of bowel perforation and related complications as a result of medical malpractice, you deserve to know the truth about what happened. The medical malpractice attorneys at Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC, can help you seek answers. We are committed to holding health care professionals accountable for errors that cause lasting harm or loss of life.
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