Modern medical care can offer incredible treatment and recovery from serious, even life-threatening injuries. In many cases, a complicated surgery can repair a patient’s body and give them a fresh experience of wellness, at least when surgeons and doctors perform a procedure properly. Unfortunately, well-meaning medical professionals at every level make mistakes that can permanently harm or even kill the people they are working to help.
For many people facing surgery, the possibility of a serious medical error can make it difficult to move forward with a procedure that they need. If you have concerns about an upcoming surgery, there are steps you can take to understand the risks and protect your personal and legal rights in Kentucky before you get to the operating table. A strong legal strategy allows you to focus on your recovery and keeps your rights secure throughout the healing process.
Understand the procedure beforehand
The more you know about the surgery that a doctor recommends, the more accountability the doctor and others involved in the process have. It is not always comfortable to question a professional, but a high-quality medical professional should have no problem giving you all the information that you ask for about your procedure, including the risks involved.
It is wise to know the procedure by name and to identify how it is different from other similar procedures. This way, if your surgeon performs some other procedure, you have the knowledge and documentation to challenge this decision. If the change in procedure was an error, or if the surgeon made a specific error during the correct procedure, you will know precisely where the mistake occurred. In general, you must consent to medical procedures that you receive, and may have grounds to file a lawsuit if you receive a procedure you did not approve.
Understand the risks
All medical procedures present some risks, even minimally invasive operations and elective surgeries. Asking your doctor about the risks and potential complications helps you anticipate problems and address them quickly.
For instance, your doctor may tell you that you will not have much pain or discomfort after a procedure. If, in the first days of recovery, you feel a great deal of pain, especially localized pain, this may indicate a serious problem.
The more you understand the risks and complications common in your procedure, the more quickly you can raise concerns. While doctors and other medical professionals have a duty of care to you, you must trust your own experience and stand up for your rights if you feel they are violated.
As a part of understanding the risks inherent in a surgery, it is wise to get a clear understanding of the full costs of care ahead of time. Even if a procedure is successful, you don’t want to get stuck with an unreasonable stack of medical bills you did not expect. A clear understanding of the charges you can expect and the portion of these charges that your insurance does or does not cover can also help you identify any problems that may arise from billing.
Build protections before you need them
Serious medical procedures can feel like gambling, but there is no need to leave your health or your life up to chance. Do not hesitate to use legal resources and guidance that you have available to help you prepare for medical malpractice before it occurs, so that you can focus your time and energy on healing and recovery.