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Surgeon Resects Wrong Part of Colon During Cancer Removal Surgery

Michael Talve, CEO

Written by
— Updated on September 28, 2017

This case involves a 60-year-old male patient who underwent a colonoscopy and was deemed to have cancer of the transverse colon. The surgeon involved began the resection procedure by removing part of the descending colon before recognizing that the cancerous lesion was isolated to the transverse colon. The patient now experiences chronic digestive complications related to the aggressive removal of a healthy bowel.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. What is the standard of care in properly identifying the location of cancer before initiating a resection of the bowel?

Expert Witness Response E-000130

The standard of care in resecting any type of cancer is to study the diagnostic imaging before taking the patient into surgery and the surgeon should have a working knowledge of what needs to be removed preoperatively. For a surgeon to blindly resect the descending colon without having unequivocal evidence that the cancer has invaded that portion of the colon is negligent to say the least.

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