Surgery Proceeds Despite Failure to Fast

Joseph O'Neill

Written by
— Updated on February 24, 2017

Plastic Surgery Expert Witness At the time of the incident in question, the decedent was a healthy female. She had elected to undergo a cosmetic rhinoplasty from a plastic surgeon. On the day of the procedure, the patient purchased a meal from a local take-out restaurant, and had brought the meal with her to the surgeon’s office. Although the physician was aware of the fact that the patient had just consumed the food, he still performed the surgical procedure. Sometime during the procedure, the patient vomited. The surgeon attempted to clear the blockage caused by the vomit, however he was unable to do so. This resulted in a prolonged period of hypoxia, causing severe brain damage.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Do you routinely perform rhinoplasty procedures? If so, how often?
  • 2. Have you ever had a patient develop the outcome described above?
  • 3. If you were aware that a patient consumed a meal before surgery, would you postpone the procedure?
  • 4. Have you ever served as an expert witness?
  • 5. Are you board certified in both: Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery; as well as: Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery?

Expert Witness Response E-006015

I perform several rhinoplasties each week, perhaps 100 times per year. I have seen a patient have an esophageal intubation after a different type of surgery but not after a rhinoplasty. Surgery under local anesthesia has different requirements than under sedation or general anesthesia. If a patient had consumed a meal, I would not give sedation or general anesthesia, although it is ultimately an anesthesiologist’s decision. I have provided expert review several times for similar cases, but have not had to testify at trial due to the strength of my reports. I am board certified in both Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and Otolaryngology. I would be happy to review this case.

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