Did the doctor perform the wrong surgery?

A study conducted in 2012 by Johns Hopkins estimated that a surgeon performs the wrong procedure on a patient in the U.S. 20 times each week. Whether it’s the result of carelessness, fatigue, or being unaware of the patient’s condition, surgical errors are a form of negligence. If you have been the victim of a wrong surgical procedure and have suffered damages, you may be able to initiate a medical malpractice claim against the surgeon and/or the hospital where the procedure was done.

Three types of operation errors are operating on the wrong site of the body, performing the wrong procedure, or operating on the wrong patient. These types of errors or “WSPE’s” are often referred to as “never events” because they were preventable and should never have occurred. They’re an indication of serious breakdowns in safety procedures.

A breakdown in communication between doctors, nurses, and other staff, inadequate pre-op procedures and processes as well as a failure to follow proper pre-op procedures can all result in operation errors. A surgeon should always verify his or her patient’s information before any procedure and should always mark the surgical site.


An example of wrong site surgery performed would be if a surgeon was performing a kidney removal procedure and ended up removing the wrong kidney. Another example would be an amputation of the wrong limb or removing the wrong breast during a mastectomy.

An example of a surgeon performing the wrong procedure would be removing a patient’s kidney when the patient was scheduled to have an appendectomy or gallbladder surgery. A mix-up could occur between two patients with the same or similar last names, and a surgical procedure scheduled to be performed on one patient was in actuality performed on the other.

Liability for damages

The consequences of surgical errors are serious for the victim and can be potentially life-threatening. The risk of post-surgical complications and/or the need for an additional surgical procedure to take care of the original problem can result in undue harm to the victim as well as creating an added financial burden due to the skyrocketing costs of surgical procedures.

If you were the victim of a wrong surgery performed by a doctor, you have a legal right to file a lawsuit. Enlisting the services of an experienced medical malpractice attorney is critical to the success of your claim. If a wrong surgery was performed, it’s a simple matter to prove negligence, but assigning liability can be harder.

California attorney, Scott S. Harris has been helping victims of medical malpractice for more than 30 years. As your attorney, Mr. Harris will review all of the information available as it pertains to your case in addition to working with medical professional experts to analyze your case, determine the competency of the doctor and/or others on the medical team in question in order to assign liability for your injury.

Contact our office to schedule your free consultation.