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Cardiovascular Surgery Malpractice

Syracuse Lawyers Helping Injured Patients

Heart surgery presents many different risks. Often, people undergo heart surgery successfully. However, in some cases, severe and avoidable complications or even death arise. When a heart surgeon makes a mistake, serious consequences may result for the patient and his or her family. If you were harmed by cardiovascular surgery malpractice, call the Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco and Falgiatano for a consultation.

Heart Surgeries and Procedures

Precision is key in heart surgeries. There are many different moments before or during the procedure during which errors may be made. In some cases, errors are made during the procedure. For example, if an artery in your heart is partially blocked, your doctor may recommend that you undergo coronary artery bypass surgery, which is performed while you are under anesthesia and carries its own set of risks. During the surgery, the cardiac surgeon will remove a healthy blood vessel from elsewhere in your body and graft it above and below the blocked artery. Complications that can arise include infections, arrhythmia, heart attacks or memory issues, and your surgeon should monitor for these problems to avoid any preventable harms.

Cardiovascular Surgery Malpractice

Even highly skilled surgeons and their staff may make errors. A misdiagnosis, improper treatment or surgical nick in the wrong location can result in severe injury or death. In order to show cardiovascular surgery malpractice, you will need to show it’s more likely than not: (1) the surgeon owed you a professional standard of care in connection with your cardiovascular surgery, (2) the surgeon departed from the professional standard of care, (3) the departure caused you harm, and (4) actual damages.

For example, you may have a claim for cardiovascular surgery malpractice if your cardiac surgeon misdiagnosed you with angina and performed an angioplasty which resulted in complications, when your symptoms were caused by another condition for which a different procedure was required. Alternatively, if your spouse’s surgeon improperly placed the graft during his coronary artery bypass and the improper placement resulted in his death, you may be able to sue for cardiovascular surgery malpractice.

Expert Testimony

In most cases, the plaintiff must retain an expert to testify about the professional standard of care, how the surgeon departed from it, and whether the departure caused the injuries. The professional standard of care depends on the defendant’s specialty and the geographical region. In a cardiovascular surgery malpractice case in Syracuse, the expert is likely to be a cardiac surgeon in or around Syracuse.

If there may have been a problem with how the surgeon performed the coronary artery bypass or angioplasty, the expert would need to show that the problem fell below the professional standard of care and caused your injuries. If the issue in the case is an improper diagnosis, the expert will need to testify that the improper diagnosis caused greater harm that you would have suffered had there been a correct diagnosis.

The plaintiff needs to consult with an expert even before the lawsuit is filed. New York law requires lawyers to file a certificate of merit attesting to a consultation with an expert that caused them to conclude a viable basis to bring suit exists.


It may be possible to recover compensatory damages through a cardiovascular surgery malpractice lawsuit. Compensatory damages are intended to return you to where you would have been had no malpractice been committed. These damages can cover both economic and noneconomic losses such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment, and loss of consortium.

If your loved one dies as the result of cardiovascular surgery malpractice, it may be possible to recover pecuniary losses through a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death damages include medical expenses needed to treat a patient, the costs of a funeral and burial, lost wages the patient was earning and could have earned in the future, reduction in inheritance, loss of services provided, and loss of parental guidance that would have been provided by the decedent.

Retain a Seasoned Attorney in Syracuse

If you were injured by cardiovascular surgery malpractice in Syracuse, you can protect your rights by asking an experienced lawyer to review your case. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, we provide tough, compassionate representation to patients and their families in Rochester, Syracuse, and other cities in Upstate New York, including in Oneida, Cooperstown, Auburn, Lyons, Canandaigua, Oswego, Binghamton, Wampsville, Watertown, Ithaca, Elmira, Herkimer, Utica, and Lowville. Contact DeFrancisco & Falgiatano at 833-200-2000 or by completing our online form.

Client Reviews
"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided." Roger N., Oneida, NY