New Jersey Uterine Prolapse Malpractice Lawyers
Representing Victims with Prolapsed Uterus Complications throughout NJ
While aging for everyone comes with health problems arising from simply living long enough, suffering the effects of gravity, pollutants, and aging cells, women have the additional burden of childbearing and hormonal shifts associated with menopause to add to the mix. Although naturally occurring inconveniences, like incontinence, sexual impotence, and muscle atrophy are unavoidable for certain women, some conditions may be avoided with lifestyle habits that protect against the conditions accompanying aging and genetics. What should not be inescapable, however, are injuries caused by others’ neglect or errors. When a doctor misses a prolapsed uterus diagnosis, their patient may suffer grave harm.
The medical malpractice lawyers at Fronzuto Law Group have extensive experience assisting victims seeking justice and just compensation for complications from failure to diagnose and treat uterine prolapse and other damaging medical conditions. If you have questions about a possible lawsuit for medical negligence with a prolapsed uterus in New Jersey, contact us at 973-435-4551 for immediate assistance. We offer free consultations and will be happy to evaluate your case free of charge.
What Happens with Uterine Prolapse
Uterine prolapse is the diagnosis when a woman’s uterus falls from its perch atop the vaginal canal and sags into or bulges out of the vagina due to lost muscle firmness or stretched ligaments in the pelvic region. If left untreated, the condition can lead to complications, such as damage to the bulging uterine tissue or to organs, like the bladder and rectum, that are also pushed out with the uterus. For older women over 55, the condition is a leading precursor to hysterectomy. Importantly, obesity, menopause, pregnancy, and childbirth are factors which raise a woman’s risk for the condition.
Women suspected of a prolapsed uterus may inquire to their obstetricians and other doctors about pelvic pain, incontinence, and lower back pain. They may describe a feeling that the pelvis is pulling downward, something is falling out of them, or the sensation of sitting on a ball. Other symptoms include vaginal bleeding, vaginal discharge, bladder infections, constipation, and sexual intercourse discomfort. Some women feel nothing at all. Women who feel little discomfort may have a high pain threshold or a less extensive case of prolapsed uterus.
There is not a singular form of uterine prolapse, as this condition may be either partial or complete, or fall somewhere on the spectrum in between. Depending on whether the uterus bulges out of the vagina or not, uterine prolapse is measured by degrees or grades one to four, with the first grade defined as the uterus sagging partway into the vagina and the fourth grade applying when the uterus and cervix collapse into the vaginal canal. In the early stages, exercises may improve the condition. If caught early enough, treatment may be simple Kegel exercises to firm the pelvic floor muscles, which can help with some of the symptoms.
Causes of Prolapsed Uterus & Making a Diagnosis
The flaccid pelvic floor muscles that cause uterine prolapse and its accompanying symptoms, may have become weak due to pregnancy, traumatic deliveries of large babies, fibroids, pelvic tumor, aging, estrogen loss, chronic coughing, pelvic surgery, bowel straining, genetics, and regular heaving lifting. To diagnose the condition, a doctor performs a pelvic examination to peer into the vaginal canal and uterus, or perhaps orders an ultrasound or MRI. Treatment is tailored to the stage of uterine prolapse, whether exercises can strengthen the pelvic floor or surgery is needed to restore the uterus to its appropriate position. Delayed treatment, failure to diagnose, or misdiagnosis can lead to a dysfunctional bladder and bowel, or sexual impairment.
Uterine Prolapse Treatment Options
In the earlier stages, aside from the Kegel exercises, a doctor may recommend stool softener, cough medicine, weight reduction help, and time off work if heavy lifting is part of the job. A healthcare provider may also teach the patient how to properly lift, using safe body postures, and how to perform Kegels to strengthen the pelvic floor. With the help of Biofeedback devices that measure the strength of muscle contractions, doctors can gauge Kegel technique effectiveness, and patients can learn to do the exercises correctly. Kegels require the practicing patient to contract the muscles that stop urine flow and hold for a few seconds, building up to longer hold times. A doctor may also prescribe vaginal estrogen replacement treatment since women lose estrogen after menopause, and estrogen is the hormone that keeps the pelvis firm.
However, severe cases of uterine prolapse may warrant a vaginal pessary, an internal prosthesis that supports the uterus. A pessary is installed by a doctor and stays inside of the woman’s body for six months before it must be changed. If the degree is sufficient and surgery is necessary, the surgeon goes through the vagina or abdomen to graft skin that lifts and maintains the uterus above the vaginal canal. Otherwise, a hysterectomy may be the treatment that a doctor recommends. Neither skin graft suspension nor hysterectomy should be performed for women with hopes of future childbearing.
Negligence with Diagnosing, Treating, or Surgery for Prolapsed Uterus
While uterine prolapse is not ordinarily life threatening, the condition can lead to life-altering complications. Physicians who fail to diagnose the condition early enough may cause a patient unnecessary surgery or uncomfortable procedures, such as use of a vaginal pessary. Likewise, pessaries are not without risk, with the potential to become infected, cause discharge, irritation, urination difficulty, painful bowel movements or surgical removal due to the pessary growing into surrounding tissue. It may also cause chronic urinary tract infections if improperly fitted or not cleaned properly.
Unnecessary delay in diagnosis and treatment may also lead to a hysterectomy to prevent bleeding and damaged organs. If the uterus must be removed, the surgeon has several options for removal:
- open, which is the most invasive
- laparoscopic, and
- vaginal, the least invasive
Among surgical removal options to deal with uterine prolapse, vaginal hysterectomy is generally the least likely to lead to complications, such as infection. Hysterectomies, whether radical (uterus, top of the vagina, and cervix removed), total (uterus and cervix removed), or partial (only the uterus is removed or part of it), are major surgeries with risks of infection, blood clotting, hemorrhaging, and anesthesia allergic reactions, any of which can be life-threatening. Surgery is never without risk. Moreover, since a hysterectomy permanently deprives a woman the choice of bearing children, it must be performed only as a last resort and with the informed consent of the patient.
Our NJ Attorneys can Help You Pursue Compensation for Injuries from Medical Errors with Uterine Prolapse
If you suffered unnecessary procedures and surgeries, underwent a hysterectomy that could have been avoided, suffered complications from surgery, or vaginal pessary that left you with pain, permanent injury, or a destroyed sex life, you may have a cause of action against the medical professionals responsible for your suffering and mounting medical costs. Doctors, and especially doctors who specialize in obstetrics and gynecology, owe a duty to their patients not to mishandle their reproductive medical care. They must perform their duties up to the standards expected of professionals of the same caliber in the same situation, and failure to do so is more than simply unfortunate. It may be cause for liability. Contact our New Jersey uterine prolapse malpractice attorneys to explore how you can be compensated for your economic damages, emotional trauma, and lost quality of life. A free consultation and personalized guidance regarding your grounds for a prolapsed uterus negligence lawsuit are available by contacting 973-435-4551.