Last updated on August 2nd, 2019
Thoracic surgery negligence refers to a surgical procedure performed in the chest area (which is also known as the thorax) which has gone wrong or caused other problems because of somebody else’s negligence for which a thoracic surgery negligence claim could be made.
A thoracic procedure is usually performed to treat diseases or injured organs in the chest area, including the lungs, oesophagus, thorax, trachea, heart and pleura.
Some of the more common conditions that typically require thoracic surgery may include:
- Lung cancer;
- Oesophageal caner;
- Reconstruction of the chest following a major surgery or trauma;
- Chest wall tumours and tumours of the lung;
- Benign tumours;
- Lung volume reduction surgery for emphysema;
- Oesophageal reconstruction;
- Gastro-oesophageal reflux;
- Chest trauma;
- Lung transplantation for end-stage diseases of the lungs;
- Pleural diseases;
- Tracheal resection or stent insertion for airway narrowing.
It requires a multi disciplinary approach to understand, diagnose and develop a safe and effective treatment option for the diseases and condition of the chest region. Thoracic surgery is particularly successful when used to treat oesophageal diseases and injuries to the chest.
How Is Thoracic Surgery Carried Out?
Thoracic surgery can be performed in a variety of ways. These include the following:
Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS)
This is a minimally invasive technique that involves making small incisions in the chest with the help of a video camera and other surgical tools. This method offers patients quicker and easier recovery as compared to a single, large incision in the chest as is done in traditional surgeries.
In this procedure, the surgeon makes use of a viewing scope to check the general health of your airway and lungs. This procedure is also used for obtaining samples of the lung tissue for a biopsy.
Robot-Assisted Thoracic Surgery
This type of surgery is used to enhance accuracy and allow the surgeon’s hand movements to be translated into the fine actions of micro-instruments. Advanced robotic technology that offers a three dimensional view of the surgical site is utilized to carry out this procedure. Robotic-assisted thoracic surgery is used to perform surgical biopsies and treat pulmonary nodules.
This involves surgically removing the entire cancerous lung on the left side of the chest.
It is a surgical procedure that involves opening the chest wall so as to gain access to the lungs, aorta, throat, diaphragm and heart.
In this procedure, a surgically created opening in the neck that leads directly to the trachea is held open through a tracheostomy tube.
Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)
An endoscopic ultrasound is used to obtain images of the chest region and its surrounding tissue and organs.
The exact method used may depend on several factors, from the patient’s age to the symptoms and progression of the disease.
What Can Go Wrong With Thoracic Surgery?
Any type of surgery carries some risk. Specific risks associated with thoracic surgery may include:
- Prolonged air leak;
- The lungs fail to expand;
- Recurring build up of fluid in the chest cavity;
- Injury to the blood vessels;
- Injury to the lungs;
- The need to insert a chest tube post surgery;
- Debilitating pain.
Thoracic Surgery Negligence – Can You Claim?
Not always. If something goes wrong during thoracic surgery you may not be eligible to make a thoracic surgery negligence claim for compensation if you are suffering from other health conditions that affected the procedure adversely. Sometimes, the condition is so advanced, a positive outcome may just not be realistic. If you have been informed about the potential complications and you still agree to proceed with the surgery, then too you may not be eligible to claim. For an expert legal opinion we would advise contacting us right away so you can be sure one way or the other.
However, if the complications are the result of medical negligence, you may have grounds to file a thoracic surgery negligence claim for compensation. It is considered medical negligence if:
- The doctor fails to diagnose your condition correctly, resulting in delayed treatment with a lower chance of success.
- A misdiagnosis results in wrongful treatment.
- The surgeon does not offer you or your family members details about the procedure and the associated risks.
- Complications arise during the procedure because of wrongful anaesthesia.
- There is no proper follow up after the procedure.
If any of the complications that arise can be attributed directly to a mistake or negligence on the part of any medical professional, you must explore your entitlement to file a thoracic surgery negligence claim.
Expert Advice On Thoracic Surgery Negligence Claims
Winning a thoracic surgery claim is never simple. You must be able to prove beyond any doubt that the medical professional was at fault. To be able to do this, you must have expert knowledge of medical negligence law. If you don’t, you risk losing your case and any compensation you may be entitled to.
When you have our legal team representing you, you have a much higher chance of winning your case and getting compensated for your injuries. Not only are all of our in-house personal injury solicitors well versed in all legal clauses pertaining to medical negligence, but they also have access to medical professionals who can provide expert testimony in support of your claim.
If you have a strong case in your favour, our legal team will agree to represent you on a Conditional Fee or No Win No Fee basis. As per the terms of this agreement, you will get legal representation without having to pay any fees upfront or at any time during the proceedings.
Our solicitor assigned to your thoracic surgery negligence claim will put together the case, file it on your behalf and represent you throughout without asking for any legal fees. You are only liable to pay after you have won the thoracic surgery negligence claim but everything will be clearly explained before you need to agree to anything.