On behalf of Hastings Law Firm P.C. posted in Surgical Errors on Thursday, May 5, 2016.

Any Texas resident who has undergone a mastectomy and subsequent reconstructive surgery knows only too well how traumatizing these procedures can be — even if all goes well. However, when any of these procedures is botched, it can be devastating. Failed surgery during a breast-reconstruction procedure recently led to a jury awarding a breast-cancer survivor in another state $358,000.

Reportedly, the patient’s right breast was removed in 2006, but she only pursued reconstruction of the breast in 2012. During the procedure, a right breast was constructed out of a flap of skin that was removed from the patient’s abdomen. The plaintiff contends that this is a procedure that should have kept her in a hospital for a day or two. Instead, complications arose that kept her in the hospital for four months.

Court documents show that the harvested skin had to be removed after two days because it became congested with blood and died. The plaintiff asserts that the removal left her with a large opening in her chest, necessitating extensive wound treatment. The plaintiff alleges the treatment — that even included leech therapy in place of corrective surgery — evidenced professional negligence that did not come close to accepted medical care standards.

The complaint was heard by eight jurors, of which six agreed with the plaintiff’s claims of negligence due to the defendant’s failure to diagnose the complications of the failed surgery and to effectively treat it. The jury awarded medical expenses of $58,600 and non-financial damages of $300,000. The woman revealed that she underwent a mastectomy of her left breast last year, and although she is now free of cancer, she will not even consider reconstructive surgery after the trauma of her previous experience.

Source: dispatch.com, “Jury awards $358,000 to woman for botched breast-reconstruction surgery”, John Futty, April 23, 2016

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