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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 116816
Experience:  Licensed Attorney. Over 20 years experience in personal injury and law enforcement.
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My husband had a lymphectomy performed on the right neck to

Customer Question

My husband had a lymphectomy performed on the right neck to check for abnormalities and/or cancer. This lymph node had frown 3 times its size over the last 10 years. He also notice one in the L axilla after an ultrasound on the one in the neck. When we had the consultation with the surgeon, he recommended we excise only the neck one and go from there. We were ok with that decision. Well he excised the wrong lymph node in the neck. When we went back in for follow-up and discuss our next step, he then decided to take the one in the L axilla and while my husband was under, he would take the RIGHT one in the neck but wouldn't charge the insurance for the removal of the neck node. Of course, he took the axilla node so he wouldn't have to explain to the hospital why he would have to pay for the charges himself.... He had the axilla node marked by a radiologist with a barb but did not do this with the neck. Either way, he missed the node AGAIN in the left neck.
My husband had severe anxiety issues over this which was hard on our whole family. He was taken to the ER in MI during my uncles funeral because he was wouldn't eat or sleep and thought he was dying. He stayed away from us for weeks and slept most of the time before and after these surgeries were done. He now has 2 unnecessary scars on his neck. The second WRONG surgery caused nerve damage. He has a crooked smile and cannot eat on the right side of his mouth. The first surgery was March 3rd and the second April 1st. Rob went and seen another surgeon and she confirmed that she could still feel the node but she believes based on the other biopsies that he does not have cancer. She also had a CT scan done with markers which shows the node is still present in the neck which matches the ultrasound results. In our first surgeons medical records, he lied and never mentioned why he did multiple surgeries. In fact, he wrote it in his records to make it look like my husband was wanting multiple nodes removed against his medical advice. I have been a nurse for 10 years, I know records.... and his were lies. Is there anything we can do? We have over $4500 in medical expenses for a surgery that was never done and we are drowning.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Not every treatment by a doctor that does not go right is deemed malpractice. Under TN law, in order to have a claim for malpractice you must have a medical expert who is willing to testify that the conduct of this doctor was below the reasonable standard of care and caused your husband permanent or severe physical harm. See also: Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-115
So, the attorneys you have spoken to are holding back waiting to determine whether or not your husband has a permanent injury, but also you need to take him to another doctor to get an expert opinion as to whether what the previous doctor did was within the appropriate standard of care or not. If the doctor says it was not within that standard of care, then you have basis to get a local attorney to take the case armed with that information and proof of any permanent injury, which increases the case value and makes it more worth an attorney agreeing to take the case.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I wouldn't imagine taking out the wrong node twice is the within their guidelines of standard of care. There are not many medical professionals today that will willingly tell me another doctor was wrong. What do you suppose we do? Am I suppose to just hand this surgeon THOUSANDS of dollars for performing the wrong surgery?! That's exactly what is wrong with the medical world today. They can do this to people and insurance companies and we are forced to pay.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
I am certainly not disputing your statement, but in court you need a doctor to actually testify to that not an attorney or non-doctor. So yes, I agree with you, but to prove a case in court it requires medical expert testimony to the fact.
You can continue to dispute it and you can even file a complaint with the state medical board and if the state medical board finds it negligent then you can use that in your suit against the doctor for malpractice.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much for your help and time. I know you are not disputing me. I'm just incredibly frustrated by this and with every new bill that comes in makes me more angry.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

At this point, you need to go to a new doctor to have him examined and seek to get another medical opinion so that you can then move forward and know whether or not you will be able to proceed forward or pursue action.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

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