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Medical Malpractice

Did You Suffer a Bowel or Bladder Perforation?

August 31, 2022

A bowel or bladder perforation is a small hole or tear in the wall of the small intestine, colon, or bladder. It can result in internal bleeding, sepsis, the formation of an abscess, or even death. While a bowel or bladder perforation can be caused by a defective medical device or a serious accident, many bowel and bladder perforations are unfortunately the result of surgical mistakes. If you have suffered a bowel or bladder perforation during surgery, you may have a claim for medical malpractice and should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.  

Symptoms That You Have Suffered a Bowel or Bladder Perforation

Perforations occur during surgery when the surgeon makes a mistake and cuts or punctures the colon or bladder. They may not be aware that it happened, and once the body cavity is closed, it may not be immediately apparent. However, you should seek immediate attention if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms: 

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain or tenderness
  • Distended or rigid abdomen

Bowel or bladder perforations can result in organ damage, organ failure, and, if left untreated, death. For these reasons, they typically require emergency medical treatment. Once you have received treatment, you should seek advice from a medical malpractice lawyer about your options. 

Common Medical Procedures That Can Result in Perforations

Bladder and bowel perforations are a possibility anytime a surgeon or other medical professional is performing a procedure in the lower abdomen. Some of the most common medical procedures that can result in perforations include the following: 

  • Bladder surgeries
  • Colonoscopies
  • Hysterectomies
  • Vaginal mesh implant surgeries

Regardless of the procedure that caused your bowel or bladder perforation, we encourage you to reach out to a medical malpractice lawyer to discuss whether you might have a claim. 

Was Your Perforation Caused by Negligence?

Even though these are routine procedures, they require the surgeon’s full attention and focus. Unfortunately, negligence can still occur, and might be even more likely because these are fairly routine procedures. Operating without adequate rest or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can increase the possibility of a mistake. Misuse of surgical tools or lack of adequate training or sufficient experience can also be potential causes. 

You might think that the fact that you suffered a bladder or bowel perforation would speak for itself, but this is unfortunately not the case. Ultimately, you will have to prove that the surgeon failed to meet the standard of care. This requires a more complex analysis than proving simple negligence, such as you would in a slip and fall accident. You need to account for the surgeon’s training and experience, as well as the complexity of the procedure. It can be extremely difficult for a non-lawyer to prove that their perforation was the result of negligence, which is why you should contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney to discuss your case. 

Perforations Require Further Treatment

One of the most difficult aspects of a medical malpractice case is that the underlying issue often requires additional medical treatment. In the case of a bowel or bladder perforation, you will likely require the following: 

  • Surgery to repair the perforation itself
  • Treatment to address the peritonitis (sepsis) or other infection
  • Removal of any feces, urine, bile, food, or other foreign material in the abdominal cavity

There are cases where the perforation may close on its own and the infection may be treated with antibiotics. Regardless, if your perforation is the result of medical malpractice, you may be entitled to recover your additional medical expenses as well as the pain and suffering you experienced as a result of whatever additional treatment was necessary. 

Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer at Ragain & Clark if You Have Suffered a Bladder or Bowel Perforation

Bladder and Bowel Perforations are very serious situations. After seeking medical treatment, you should consider contacting an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your case. At Ragain & Clark, we have over 30 years of experience in helping medical malpractice victims get fair compensation for their claims. To discuss your case and how we can help, call us today at 406-651-8888 (Billings) or 307-388-6400 (Worland) or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.


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