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Failure to Diagnose Hiatal Hernia

When the upper part of your stomach bulges through the large muscle that separates your abdomen and diaphragm, you have a hiatal hernia. A small opening (hiatus) in your diaphragm allows your food tube (esophagus) to pass before connecting to your stomach. The stomach pushes up through that opening and into your chest in a hiatal hernia. A small hiatal hernia usually causes no problems. You might not even be aware you have one unless your doctor discovers it while testing for another condition. A large hiatal hernia, on the other hand, can allow food and acid to back up into your esophagus, causing heartburn. Usually, self-care or medication can alleviate these symptoms. A large hiatal hernia may necessitate surgery.

Although many people have heard of hernias, few are familiar with them. Because these conditions frequently go unnoticed for months or even years, many people are unaware that they have one. A hernia is a gap in tissue or muscle that allows organs to bulge through, most commonly when the intestines break through the abdominal wall. Hernias are most commonly found in the stomach region between the hips and chest, but you may also be diagnosed with a hernia in the groin or near your upper thighs. While most hernias are not fatal, some necessitate surgery to avoid serious health complications, and certain types of hernias are more prone to complications than others.

Regardless of the differences between hernias and hernia sufferers, one thing remains constant: doctors and medical professionals have a responsibility to thoroughly examine patients, run appropriate tests and correctly read them, diagnose hernias in a timely manner, and take appropriate measures to prevent further medical issues that may result from these conditions. Furthermore, surgeons are responsible for performing hernia repair surgery in the best possible manner, avoiding surgical errors and negligent practices that may result in hernia surgery complications. It is then the responsibility of healthcare providers to ensure that patients receive thorough and accurate postoperative instructions and are fully informed of the risks before consenting to the procedure. Failure to complete any of these critical steps in the process may constitute medical negligence, giving those who have been injured grounds to sue for fair compensation. If you have questions about hernia-related malpractice, speaking with an experienced malpractice attorney can provide you with the answers you need to fight for your rights. Our highly experienced medical malpractice attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano may be able to assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve.  We serve clients throughout Upstate New York and have offices in several convenient locations. Our extensive experience in the field of medical malpractice is reflected in the results we have obtained for our clients.

Hernias are classified into several types based on their location and the body parts involved. Hiatal hernia is a stomach protrusion into the chest that is more common in older adults. Parts of the stomach cross the diaphragm, the breathing muscle that separates the chest from the abdominal organs. This type of hernia usually causes gastroesophageal reflux, which occurs when stomach acids regurgitate into the throat and mouth, causing a burning sensation known as heartburn.

Hiatal hernias are more common in women and overweight people. Many people who have a hiatal hernia are unaware of it because they have no symptoms. Gastric reflux is frequently the first sign of a hiatal hernia. When symptoms include severe chest or abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and bowel problems such as the inability to have a bowel movement or pass gas, experts recommend seeing a doctor.

Accidental perforations that occur during surgery are the second major risk. The surgeon must physically move any part of the stomach or bowel that has crept up through the hiatus above the diaphragm during a hiatal hernia repair. This physical movement has the potential to injure or tear the stomach or bowel.

If there is a full-thickness tear, the surgeon should notice it and repair it before proceeding with the procedure. However, if there is a partial-thickness tear, the surgeon may not be able to detect it before closing the patient up again. Following surgery, partial-thickness tears frequently progress to full-thickness tears. The contents of the stomach or bowel leak into the abdominal cavity when there is a full-thickness tear or perforation. This causes an infection, which can progress to sepsis if not diagnosed and treated promptly. Sepsis is a potentially fatal inflammatory process caused by a smoldering infection.

Patients who have had hiatal hernia repair surgery should be on the lookout for signs of infection and should notify their surgeon right away. Surgeons do not always take these reports seriously, which can have detrimental consequences for patients.

When a patient has a perforated stomach or bowel, it is critical to diagnose and treat the condition as soon as possible. The treatment consists of a return to the operating room to repair the hole, as well as medical orders for aggressive fluid resuscitation and antibiotics to combat sepsis and infection.

If you have suffered medical malpractice after undergoing surgery to remove a hiatal hernia, you may be entitled to compensation and require the services of a hernia malpractice attorney. Our top law firm has extensive experience with medical malpractice cases, particularly those involving surgical errors and negligence on the part of doctors and their staff. Our accomplished hernia malpractice attorneys can sue the surgeon, other doctors in the operating room, and even the hospital for negligence.  DeFrancisco & Falgiatano has assisted a number of clients in regaining peace of mind and obtaining justice for the negligent or careless actions of the responsible party. Contact Upstate New York’s experienced and knowledgeable medical malpractice attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. We represent injured clients and their families throughout Upstate New York, including Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, Buffalo, Elmira, Binghamton, Auburn, Ithaca, Oswego, Norwich, Herkimer, Delhi, Cooperstown, Cortland, Lowville, Oneida, Watertown, Utica, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Lyons, and surrounding areas.  Please call us at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form to discuss your case.

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