I live in Tennessee and recently (approx 6 weeks ago) I went to the ER for severe abdominal pain. After a few hours, I finally was seen by a doctor who did some tests and scans and it was confirmed that I had appendicitis. I was somewhat relieved, thinking that at least it was something normal and easily remedied. I had a laproscopic appendectomy at 2:30am that was performed by the on-call surgeon and was released that afternoon at 5:30 to go home.
The next morning I started vomiting and could not hold any food or water down. I attributed it to the percocet I was taking but despite stopping the medicine I remained ill and the next evening I called the doctor's office who referred me back to the ER (it was a weekend evening and when we called we only reached a nurse at their answering service). It was discovered that I had a bowel obstruction which I understand is not uncommon after abdominal surgeries (I believe the official medical diagnosis was a paralytic ileus). The treatment was of the "wait and see" variety and I spent 5 days in the hospital before I was cleared to go home.
I went home and after 4 days I started to have a fever but I decided that since I had a doctor's appointment in two days and I didn't feel very ill that I would just wait it out (bad move on my part). I went to the doctor 6 days after my last discharge and he suspected that I had an abscess. Sure enough, tests were done and I had a large abscess in my abdomen that was unfortunately situated where it could not be drained without surgery.
Two days after the diagnosis of the abscess, it was back to the hospital and I had an exploratory laparotomy performed (by the same surgeon that did the appendectomy) in which they drained/removed the abscess and inserted a drain. Two days after the surgery, the surgeon noticed that the contents of the drain didn't look as they should and ordered more tests. The tests showed that I had a hole in my small intestine. I asked what the cause could be and the doctor said that there were a number of reasons as to why there could be a hole and that surgery was needed to fix that issue.
Sooo...three days after the removal of the abscess, I had another surgery performed in which the surgeon performed a bowel resection where approx 2 inches of my intestine was removed. He said that there was a pin-sized hole in the intestine and that the intestine wall of the part that was removed was damaged due to the abscess. He also said the hole was caused by the removal of the abscess, being that my intestine was surrounding the abscess. I ended up spending a total of twelve days in the hospital before I was discharged this time.
One part of me wants to believe that it was all unfortunate circumstance, but I also want to make sure that there wasn't anything else that could have been done (or maybe something was done improperly). I am hesitant to speak to an attorney because I am afraid to get pushed into a situation that I am uncomfortable with but I don't know what else to do at this point. I'm not looking to get rich, but I also don't want pay for medical bills that resulted from a situation that could have been prevented. Any help or advice is appreciated.