From what time does the statute of limitations run – from the surgery or from the last visit with the surgeon?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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From what time does the statute of limitations run – from the surgery or from the last visit with the surgeon?

I had breast lift over 6 1/2 years ago. I was supposed to get implants that day as well. However, the doctor could not leave implants in because they cut off blood supply to my nipples. Within 3 days I had dark areas on both nipples, necrosis. The doctor said that it was my fault because I used cold packs under my arms. However, the documents given me instructed me to make 4 cold packs and use for swelling. As a result, I lost my entire nipple and big part of my left breast and my partial nipple and breast tissue on the right. I had multiple visits and procedures getting dead tissue removed. Fast forward to last week. I had surgery to remove the implants with a different doctor because of infection in my muscle under my right breast and capsular contracture. So it was very painful for weeks before surgery. I’m now recuperating. Can I sue the doctor who did the first surgery and

Asked on July 22, 2019 under Malpractice Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The statute of limitations runs from when the harm was caused, not from your last visit to the physician. So if the harm was caused when the surgenry (the breast lift) was performed--i.e. it was caused by the surgery--the statute of limitations would have begun running the date of the surgery. If was a follow-up treatment that caused the harm, the statute would run from that date of that follow-up; etc.

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