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Wound Separation After Surgery Can Be Life-Threatening


Though the primary focus of any procedure is treatment or prevention of a medical condition, one of the most critical duties of the surgical team is ensuring proper wound healing. The failure to manage the hygiene, safety, and security of the incision can lead to separation, putting the patient at risk of serious harm. Wound dehiscence is defined as the partial or complete reopening of the cut made during a surgical procedure. Around 16 percent of all patients who suffer wound separation will die from the complications, though there are risk factors that impact outcomes.

Wound dehiscence typically occurs from 5 to 10 days after the procedure. For a patient, that means back to the hospital, longer recovery periods, and higher medical bills. Separation at the incision is typically an indication of negligence, so it is important to discuss your circumstances with a Miami surgical errors lawyer if you or a loved one suffered injuries. Some additional information about wound separation is also useful.

 Three Phases of Surgical Wound Recovery

 Healing is the body’s process of creating new tissue to replace damaged cells, and it typically occurs in three phases:

  1. Inflammatory: Fluids rush to the wound site to cause pain and swelling, the point of which is clearing out the old tissues and eliminating bacteria that can cause infection.
  2. Proliferative: Cells called fibroblasts act as rubber bands to stretch the edges of the surgical incision together. As the gap closes, the body creates new tissue and continues with repairs.
  3. Maturation: The new tissues strengthen, are less delicate, and can withstand minor trauma. 

Wound Separation and Treatment 

Dehiscence at the surgical site can occur at any of the stages of healing mentioned above. It is often caused by health care acquired infection (HAI) at the wound that prevents repairs to the incised tissue. Improperly sterilized surgical tools, medical equipment, instruments, linens, are common sources. Another cause of wound separation is improper application of sutures or aftercare with sutures.

Wound dehiscence is considered a medical emergency that requires immediate surgery. A patient will either return to the hospital or endure longer periods of hospitalization. Evisceration is one of the most extreme implications, in which a complete wound separation allows internal organs to protrude through the site.

Damages for Surgical Mistakes 

When an error by a physician leads to wound separation, an injured patient may recover compensation for all medical care. Plus, it is possible to recover damages for many other losses, such as:

  • Lost wages, if you missed work during your recovery
  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring and disfigurement, which can be considerable for corrective surgery
  • Emotional distress

Get in Touch with a Florida Surgical Errors Attorney About Legal Options 

Wound dehiscence may be grounds for a med mal claim, and our team at Freidin Brown, P.A. can explain more about the standard of care. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation. A surgical errors lawyer can meet with you at our offices in Miami or Fort Myers, FL to provide additional details.


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