What to do if a surgeon repaired a hernia with sutures that do not dissolve?

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What to do if a surgeon repaired a hernia with sutures that do not dissolve?

When I gained some weight later, these sutures caused more hernias, requiring surgery. Is this surgeon liable?

Asked on April 26, 2012 under Malpractice Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

It is possible the surgeon is liable. He/she could be if one or another of the following applied:

1) Since malpractice is the failure to provide medical care that meets current generally accepted standards, if the current standards for a hernia operation of this type call for dissolving sutures and the use non-dissolving ones is not considered an acceptable alternative; or

2) Regardless of the general norms, if there were contraindications in your specific case (based on your lifestyle, age, overall health, weight, the hernia, etc.) for the use of non-dissolving sutures, which the surgeon ignored; or

3) There should have been follow-up (e.g. removing the sutures), which the surgeon failed to provide; or

4) You should have been warned against weight gain, but were never given that warning.

In otherwords, it's not enough that you suffered an adverse consequence; rather, the surgeon must have done something "wrong" for there to be malpractice. As you can imagine, this is a very fact-senstive question; therefore, the best way to proceed would be to meet with experienced malpractice  counsel, who can evaluate whether you may have a case, what it might be worth, and the cost to pursue it.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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