Before having surgery, a patient is required to sign an informed consent form. Informed consent involves the surgeon telling the patient all risks involved with the procedure so that they and their family can make an informed decision about moving ahead with the surgery.
Too often, patients are quickly told of risks by physicians using terms that the patient does not fully understand. The patient is then handed a consent form to sign, which they may sign in spite of lacking a full understanding of all the risks.
It is equally important that you, as a patient, have all of your questions answered by the surgeon and other physicians, such a anesthesiologists attending to your procedure. In addition to considering any questions that arise from the risks discussed with you, make sure to ask the following questions:
- What is the surgeon’s experience level with the procedure?
- What is the hospital or outpatient surgical center’s experience with the procedure?
- In case of outpatient surgery, what is the procedure for emergency transfer in the case of unforeseen complications?
It is critical when you or a family member is going in for surgery that you become fully advised as to any medical complications that may occur and how they will be handled. Any and all questions you may have for the doctor should be answered to your satisfaction.
If you are injured as a result of an undisclosed risk of the surgery, you may be able to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit based on the doctrine of informed consent if you are able to prove, among other factors, that the surgeon did not fully disclose ‘material risks’ associated with the procedure. For more information please contact the experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Mitchell Hoffman & Wolf LLC