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  1. #1
    jcbjjk is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Surgical incision that will not heal

    What is the name of your state? CO


    I originally had surgery in August to remove a glomangioma (glomus cell tumor) on the rear of my thigh. I consulted a cosmetic dermatologist who performed a biopsy on another glomangioma lower on my leg. He did not feel comfortable performing the surgery on the much larger tumor on my thigh. I consulted an orthopedic surgeon. I was told by the surgeon during the initial consultation that the scar would be much less noticeable than that from the previous doctor, and that the only real risks were the anesthesia and recurrence of the tumor.

    A month after the surgery the incision that had been closed with Steri-strips and was 90% healed, suddenly split open(only internal stitches were used). I went back to the orthopedic surgeon who advised me to use wet dry bandages on the incision and let the 4mm diameter hole heal or she could bring me back into surgery, clean up the incision and lessen my scaring. I opted for the second surgery in mid october. The surgeon made a larger incision and stitched it using mattress stitch. Although the surgeon had just repaired and closed with surgical glue a surgical incision that had been open for more than 5 weeks, no antibiotics were prescribed. Two weeks later there were signs of infection, she left the stitches in for 1 more week and put me on antibiotics. 2 weeks after she removed the stitches the incision split open again to more than double the original size of the hole. Now 4 months after the original surgery I am seeing a wound care specialist and my wound is almost healed into a scar that resembles an anus(no joke).

    Throughout this time period there were several unreturned telephone calls, and several instances where I felt like I was not being given the time I needed considering the situation. The doctor continuously apologized, but provided no hint as to why this kept occuring except to say that it was shearing. Shouldn't I have been told to try to minimize shearing and advised to avoid putting any pressure on my thigh. I decided to start carrying a pillow with me to sit on after the second surgery to keep the pressure off the incision hoping that the second incision wouldn't split. I was also continually put into the care of the surgeon's surgical assistant.

    I forgot to mention that I was not required to get a pre-op physical and I've heard that diabetics have problems with wound healing...next week I am going to my PCP for a diabetes test. I also forgot to mention that the surgeon removed an eliptical shaped piece of skin directly over the tumor to reduce the chance of it coming back. During the second surgery she further removed more tissue and skin. After it split open the second time the Surgical Assistant postulated that maybe they needed to do a skin graft(shouldn't this have been considered after it split the first time?)
    I had also informed my surgeon of my allergy to Shellfish...they felt that my gastrointestinal symptoms after eating shellfish did not constitute an allergy and used betadine anyway...for the first two weeks following each surgery my incision leaked iodine.

    My question is do I have any type of case against this surgeon?
    Last edited by jcbjjk; 12-22-2007 at 05:33 PM. Reason: forgot to add a few things
  2. #2
    barry1817 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Southern Ca.
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    potential malpractice

    Quote Originally Posted by jcbjjk View Post
    What is the name of your state? CO


    I originally had surgery in August to remove a glomangioma (glomus cell tumor) on the rear of my thigh. I consulted a cosmetic dermatologist who performed a biopsy on another glomangioma lower on my leg. He did not feel comfortable performing the surgery on the much larger tumor on my thigh. I consulted an orthopedic surgeon. I was told by the surgeon during the initial consultation that the scar would be much less noticeable than that from the previous doctor, and that the only real risks were the anesthesia and recurrence of the tumor.

    A month after the surgery the incision that had been closed with Steri-strips and was 90% healed, suddenly split open(only internal stitches were used). I went back to the orthopedic surgeon who advised me to use wet dry bandages on the incision and let the 4mm diameter hole heal or she could bring me back into surgery, clean up the incision and lessen my scaring. I opted for the second surgery in mid october. The surgeon made a larger incision and stitched it using mattress stitch. Although the surgeon had just repaired and closed with surgical glue a surgical incision that had been open for more than 5 weeks, no antibiotics were prescribed. Two weeks later there were signs of infection, she left the stitches in for 1 more week and put me on antibiotics. 2 weeks after she removed the stitches the incision split open again to more than double the original size of the hole. Now 4 months after the original surgery I am seeing a wound care specialist and my wound is almost healed into a scar that resembles an anus(no joke).

    Throughout this time period there were several unreturned telephone calls, and several instances where I felt like I was not being given the time I needed considering the situation. The doctor continuously apologized, but provided no hint as to why this kept occuring except to say that it was shearing. Shouldn't I have been told to try to minimize shearing and advised to avoid putting any pressure on my thigh. I decided to start carrying a pillow with me to sit on after the second surgery to keep the pressure off the incision hoping that the second incision wouldn't split. I was also continually put into the care of the surgeon's surgical assistant.

    I forgot to mention that I was not required to get a pre-op physical and I've heard that diabetics have problems with wound healing...next week I am going to my PCP for a diabetes test. I also forgot to mention that the surgeon removed an eliptical shaped piece of skin directly over the tumor to reduce the chance of it coming back. During the second surgery she further removed more tissue and skin. After it split open the second time the Surgical Assistant postulated that maybe they needed to do a skin graft(shouldn't this have been considered after it split the first time?)
    I had also informed my surgeon of my allergy to Shellfish...they felt that my gastrointestinal symptoms after eating shellfish did not constitute an allergy and used betadine anyway...for the first two weeks following each surgery my incision leaked iodine.

    My question is do I have any type of case against this surgeon?

    For any malpractice case to proceed you are going to have to find an expert that could and would testify about problems with your case. If you don't have that you won't have a case.

    What you are asking are very specific questions about a very specific surgical situation. If I were in your situation I might contact a malpractice attorney who had a relationship with a surgeon that could review what you are telling us and let you know if there was anything wrong.

    And there would need to be a review of your records by a trained physician to evaluate what you are saying with what is in your chart. You may get both responses that say yes, and those that say not, but a malpractice case needs the expert to say definitely that a problem existed, that negligence occurred.

    [email]Barry1817@aol.com[/email]
  3. #3
    LAWMED is offline Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    286
    Quote Originally Posted by jcbjjk View Post

    I consulted an orthopedic surgeon. I was told by the surgeon during the initial consultation that the scar would be much less noticeable than that from the previous doctor, and that the only real risks were the anesthesia and recurrence of the tumor.
    Infection and healing issues are always a risk.

    A month after the surgery the incision that had been closed with Steri-strips and was 90% healed, suddenly split open(only internal stitches were used). I went back to the orthopedic surgeon who advised me to use wet dry bandages on the incision and let the 4mm diameter hole heal or she could bring me back into surgery, clean up the incision and lessen my scaring. I opted for the second surgery in mid october. The surgeon made a larger incision and stitched it using mattress stitch. Although the surgeon had just repaired and closed with surgical glue a surgical incision that had been open for more than 5 weeks, no antibiotics were prescribed.
    Likely you were given an IV antibiotic during surgery (Ancef or Kefzol)
    Two weeks later there were signs of infection, she left the stitches in for 1 more week and put me on antibiotics. 2 weeks after she removed the stitches the incision split open again to more than double the original size of the hole. Now 4 months after the original surgery I am seeing a wound care specialist and my wound is almost healed into a scar that resembles an anus(no joke).
    no joke indeed! What does your wound care specialist say about all this? Two weeks after suture removal, absent a raging infection at that time, points to some physiologic reason for poor healing. Diabetes is the first suspect, as you have been told.

    Throughout this time period there were several unreturned telephone calls, and several instances where I felt like I was not being given the time I needed considering the situation. The doctor continuously apologized, but provided no hint as to why this kept occuring except to say that it was shearing. Shouldn't I have been told to try to minimize shearing and advised to avoid putting any pressure on my thigh. I decided to start carrying a pillow with me to sit on after the second surgery to keep the pressure off the incision hoping that the second incision wouldn't split. I was also continually put into the care of the surgeon's surgical assistant.
    I'm sure this was as unexpected to him as it was to you. Do you sit in a chair during the day? Work require strain on the area? His surgical assistant would be the norm for your follow up these days.

    I forgot to mention that I was not required to get a pre-op physical and I've heard that diabetics have problems with wound healing...next week I am going to my PCP for a diabetes test.
    I assume you are young and healthy in that case. If so and not obese and/or african american diabetes is less likely. If you have noticed an increase in the frequency of urination, it is likely you ARE diabetic. A simple blood sugar test will help figure that out. If you had ANY lab work done pre-op...even that morning, then you DID have a blood sugar drawn.

    I also forgot to mention that the surgeon removed an eliptical shaped piece of skin directly over the tumor to reduce the chance of it coming back. During the second surgery she further removed more tissue and skin. After it split open the second time the Surgical Assistant postulated that maybe they needed to do a skin graft(shouldn't this have been considered after it split the first time?)
    I had also informed my surgeon of my allergy to Shellfish...they felt that my gastrointestinal symptoms after eating shellfish did not constitute an allergy and used betadine anyway...for the first two weeks following each surgery my incision leaked iodine.

    My question is do I have any type of case against this surgeon?
    The more frustrating and continuous a surgical complication, the more likely we are (understandably) to find fault in everything, right down to the magazines in the waiting room. Skin grafting should be saved for down the road if needed. It requires shaving a good chunk of skin from another area, slapping it on the wound (and it CANNOT be placed over a hole), hoping IT heals nicely...and nicely is into a permanent, very noticeable scar. It cannot be used to "close' a gapping wound. Shellfish+gastric upset=bad shellfish. Iodine leaking from incision post-op = betadine used to wash out incision during surgery. No allergy.

    Of course the information we all can exchange here is limited. Whether everyone did their job is impossible to say, especially since this scenario can occur even when everything was done perfect..

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