Prostate surgery or surgery to remove the prostate otherwise know as a Prostatectomy is associated with many potential complications and surgeons who do not follow the applicable standard of care can, through their negligence, cause life-changing complications.
It is estimated that roughly 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Many other men will suffer from an enlarged prostate without getting cancer, otherwise known as benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), and surgery may be the only treatment option. Regardless, if surgery is selected as the treatment, there are many significant complications that can occur and many times these can be due to the negligence of the surgeon.
Errors During Prostate Surgery
Errors can occur relating to how doctors perform prostate surgery. There are several methods for removing a prostate:
- Open surgery, where the surgeon cuts into the abdomen to reach the prostate
- Laparoscopic surgery, where small holes are created in the abdomen
- Transurethral resection, where the surgeon reaches the prostate via the urethra
The decision as to which route to use if specific to the patient and will depend on many factors, including the size of the prostate or the patient’s health and comorbid conditions. For example, a transurethral resection may not be the best choice when the prostate is too large, as it could lead to additional injury.
Complications such as incontinence, infection and permanent erectile dysfunction are known risks of prostate surgery, but they can also be caused by surgical error and a careless surgeon.
Florida law requires that doctors obtain informed consent before performing any medical procedure, including surgery. When it comes to prostate surgery, doctors must explain all treatment options to a patient – including having non-surgical treatment or no treatment at all. Unfortunately, some doctors push surgery without adequately informing patients of all their options.
For example, depending on a patient’s age, health, and the size and aggressiveness of the tumor, doing nothing and simply monitoring may be the best option. Or, in some cases, hormone treatment is an option that could slow the growth of the tumor, sometimes long enough for a patient to live out the remainder of his life without the need for more treatment. It is the legal obligation of your doctor to explain all the options and to obtain your informed consent. Failure to do this could be the basis for a lawsuit.
In other situations, a doctor could recommend surgery even after the tumor has spread or metastasized. In this circumstance, surgery may not be beneficial and may be unnecessary. Exposing a patient to the risk of surgery in this circumstance could be the basis for a claim for medical negligence. Regardless, your doctor must discuss all your options.
Pursuing a Claim after a Prostate Surgery Error
If you or a family member have suffered complications as a result of errors related to prostate surgery, you may be entitled to compensation related to your damages. Contact Bonner Law at 1-800-4MEDMAL for a free consultation. Mr. Bonner is an attorney with over 32 years of experience in medical malpractice litigation.