Even though cancer is heartbreaking news in our time, irrespective of how chronic it is, there have been remedies to treat cancerous cells completely. Popular treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy are mostly employed. However, there are other treatment methods such as mastectomy.
What is Mastectomy?
A mastectomy is a surgery used to remove all the tissue from a breast or both to treat cancer. It is also used to prevent the spread of cancer to other parts of the body.
Mastectomy may be one treatment option for treating early-stage breast cancer or if a person has a very high risk of developing it.
Breast cancer is a chronic disease in which the cells in the breast begin to grow out of control, causing a mass of tissue called a tumor. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer in women aside from skin cancers. It accounts for approximately 30% of new female cancers yearly. As of the beginning of 2022, there was a preemption of roughly 43,250 female deaths due to breast cancer.
Despite this drawback, more than 3.8 million breast cancer survivors are still living in the United States.
However, there are instances where there may be a loss of some body parts to stop the spread of cancer. Specifically, in cases of breast cancer, mastectomy may be an option.
Considering the daunting intricacies of this surgery, the surgeon needs to exercise the highest level of care during this procedure. They must ensure that the patient is safe after it.
Failure to maintain the highest level of care can lead to serious harm to the patient, which may as well lead to legal battles. In these legal cases, medical animation can portray the negligence of the surgeon and the level of damage.
Can I Sue For Mastectomy Malpractice?
Even though we live in an era of significant advances in the medical sphere, many people still suffer from serious complications. At the same time, some lost their lives as a result of medical errors that could have been prevented.
The same can be said for mastectomy procedures. During a mastectomy, a patient may encounter a procedural error during the operation, a postoperative error, or a wrong diagnosis. It could also be a failure to carry out the mastectomy, which results in more cancer in the body.
Medical errors caused during mastectomy result in devastating consequences for patients and their families, excruciating pain, disfigurement, or death.
It can also go beyond physical injuries. The patient can also be exposed to emotional trauma and financial problems due to medical expenses.
Therefore, malpractice during a mastectomy can be the subject of a civil claim in court to ensure the patient recovers adequately from the injuries suffered. These errors should be explained with the use of medication animation for faster and easier judgment in the courtroom.
Medical animation is the best way to showcase that the plaintiff’s injuries were caused by the doctor or healthcare providers.
Here are some of the medical malpractice claims that a party can start around mastectomy:
Sometimes, a mastectomy claim may be centered on events before the procedure. Therefore, failure to plan adequately, review the patient’s chart, and carry out tests can lead to tremendous harm.
Similarly, if there is a wrong diagnosis, the patient can be operated upon unnecessarily. This may be a result of misreading the pathology reports. It would be devastating to lose a breast or both without having breast cancer in the first place.
Sometimes, misdiagnosis or failure to carry out a mastectomy in an early stage of cancer will result in more growth of cancer. This can cause the patient to lose both breasts or have more complications.
A case in point is Cotton v. Franciscan Alliance. In this case, the plaintiff underwent a mammogram after she developed a lump in her right breast. After the test, the radiologist misdiagnosed it as “benign.”
After 16 months of carrying on with the wrong diagnosis, she was diagnosed as having stage IIIB breast cancer. This required a bilateral mastectomy, radiation, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy.
The jury signed a verdict for over $6.5 million, including $1.5 million for her disfigurement.
Some malpractices happen during surgery due to the carelessness or negligence of the surgeon. For example, malpractice may come into play if the surgery is performed on the wrong side of the breast. Hence, eventually causing the patient to lose both breasts. At other times, it may be that an error or misstep can cause nerve damage.
It isn’t even news anymore that some surgeons negligently leave instruments used during the procedure inside the patient’s body during mastectomy. Hence, leading to severe pain, numbness, and an inability to perform routine daily activities.
An instance is seen in the case of Dietze v. King. The defendant negligently left a sponge in the operative wound following a radical mastectomy to remove breast cancer.
The job of medical practitioners does not stop at the surgery—postoperative care is also essential.
Lack of proper and adequate monitoring of patients after an operation can increase infection or flap necrosis. In addition, infection at the incision site or wound can occur due to poor antiseptic technique and poor postoperative monitoring.
It can, therefore, be seen that regardless of the cause of medical negligence, the consequences of medical mistakes involving a mastectomy can be traumatizing, painful, and even life-threatening.
Illustrating a Mastectomy Malpractice Using Medical Animation
Medical animation can be used to showcase the malpractice caused before, during, and after mastectomy. It is, however, pertinent to start by first showcasing a standard mastectomy procedure in the animation.
During a simple mastectomy procedure, the surgeon removes the breast tissue, areola, nipple, and skin. In contrast, some other mastectomy procedures may leave some parts, like the skin or the nipple.
Therefore, the ideal medical animation will walk the jury through the process of a regular mastectomy. It will then showcase the errors that occurred during the surgery.
If the malpractice does not arise around the procedure but revolves around the diagnosis or postoperative care, medical animation can also serve as an ally.
Mastectomy is a procedure that is life-saving but leaves the recipient with a loss. Therefore, when an error is made during treatment, there is a tragic double jeopardy waiting to happen. Medical animation can be used to showcase such malpractices.
To get medical animation that accurately depicts the progressions that led to the errors in the mastectomy and the liable party in the incident, it is critical to bring Fox-AE, a legal animation studio dedicated to clients’ success, into the picture.
We collaborate with attorneys and expert witnesses on a case to ensure we deliver admissible demonstrative exhibits.