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Indiana, Mal-Practice? Surgeon denied cutting SAN in Neck Dissection

This is a discussion on Indiana, Mal-Practice? Surgeon denied cutting SAN in Neck Dissection within the Medical Malpractice forum, part of the HEALTHCARE LAW & MALPRACTICE category; Dear Sir or Madam, .ExternalClass .ecxhmmessage P{padding:0px;}.ExternalClass body.ecxhmmessage{font-size:10pt;font-family:Tahoma;} I was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Cancer in 2008, and I am ...

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Old Mar 2nd, 2011, 08:34 PM   #1
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Angry Indiana, Mal-Practice? Surgeon denied cutting SAN in Neck Dissection

Dear Sir or Madam,
.ExternalClass .ecxhmmessage P{padding:0px;}.ExternalClass body.ecxhmmessage{font-size:10pt;font-family:Tahoma;}
I was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Cancer in 2008, and I am previously still batteling the cancer. My first surgery was July 2008. (total thyroidectomy) My second surgery was March 27, 2009 (Bilaterial Modified Neck Disection) in which forty two lymph nodes were removed, sixteen on the right side, twenty five on the left side. I used the same surgeon for both surgeries. My surgeon was on vacation following my surgery so her assistant removed the drain tubes from my chest in the office. I was in the hospital for three days and I was to return to work two weeks after surgery.

I called the office and talked to my surgeons nurse twelve days after surgery because I was in extreme pain with my right shoulder, and my right clavicle was protruding. I was told my shoulder injury had nothing to do with my surgery and needed to go to my family physician. My family physician ordered an x-ray to see if the clavicle was broke. An Orthopedic ordered a CT Scan, and Physical Therapy. With no improvement an EMG was then ordered. I had no follow up visit with my surgeon after surgery.

It took me 3 months to find out through an EMG that the spinal accessory nerve had been cut during surgery. After reading the post operative report I noticed my surgeon had mentioned more than once that she had identified the SAN and that the dissection was carried to the level to maximize my shoulder function postoperatively. I made an appointment and seen my surgeon in July 2009. She said she did not cut the nerve and I should continue with physical therapy and it should repair itself in at least eighteen months. She said no surgery could repair it, only time.

I found out later after seeing two Neurologist, a Neurosurgeon, and a Shoulder Specialist, that a nerve graft could have possibly salvaged the nerve if I would have had surgery immediately after surgery, or no more than six months after the surgery. Also that this type of surgery is done by a Plastic Surgeon. I was off work a total of six months. I continued physical therapy through Feb 2010. A second EMG was done and the SAN still looked to be cut. To this day I still suffer significant pain and loss of mobility secondary to the injury. I have considerable drooping of the right shoulder, extreme discomfort, and severe weakness and atrophy of the trapezius and sternocleidomastoid muscle on my right side.

My question is, Did my surgeon deviate from the standard of care by not acknowledging she cut the nerve, (misdiagnosis ?) or for not telling me she cut the nerve so valuable time was not lost and I could have been sent to the appropriate surgeon in order to possibly salvage the nerve? (improper treatment, or failure to treat?) Also did my surgeon deviate from the standard of care for not seeing me in for a post follow up visit less than two weeks after surgery (failure to perform appropriate follow-up?) especially when I called and mentioned I was in extreme pain and knew I could not return to work.

I am approaching my two year statue of limitations, but I am having trouble finding an attorney to represent me without an expert witness in the same medical profession to say that my surgeon deviated from the standard of care.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2011, 10:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: Indiana, Mal-Practice? Surgeon denied cutting SAN in Neck Dissection

I wish to inform you that you can file a suit for medical malpractice. In this regard when doctor has not informed you about the fact that nerve was cut then doctor has misled you. By not providing you with the correct information doctor can be held liable for malpractice. In this motives of doctor will have o be seen. Further necessity of surgery may also be studied. In case surgery was not required or was performed in an incorrect manner this will also make physician liable. By not seeing you doctor may be held liable because treatment was being done by doctor and his further refusal to treat when you were having care is negligence. You may self represent your case.

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Old Mar 8th, 2011, 09:39 PM   #3
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Confused Re: Indiana, Mal-Practice? Surgeon denied cutting SAN in Neck Dissection

Thank you for your response. I have contacted several attorneys and still cannot get anyone to represent me. My surgery was required because of the cancer. I am looking into filing with small claims court and city court. Do I have to have funds for an expert witness to represent myself? Or can I represent myself with records and notes from other physicians? Thank you.
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Old Mar 9th, 2011, 06:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Indiana, Mal-Practice? Surgeon denied cutting SAN in Neck Dissection

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Originally Posted by AFFA View Post
I wish to inform you that you can file a suit for medical malpractice. In this regard when doctor has not informed you about the fact that nerve was cut then doctor has misled you. By not providing you with the correct information doctor can be held liable for malpractice. In this motives of doctor will have o be seen. Further necessity of surgery may also be studied. In case surgery was not required or was performed in an incorrect manner this will also make physician liable. By not seeing you doctor may be held liable because treatment was being done by doctor and his further refusal to treat when you were having care is negligence. You may self represent your case.

AFF

Thank you for your response. I have contacted several attorneys and still cannot get anyone to represent me. My surgery was required because of the cancer. I am looking into filing with small claims court and city court. Do I have to have funds for an expert witness to represent myself? Or can I represent myself with records and notes from other physicians? Thank you.
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