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Laparoscopic Surgery Malpractice

Syracuse Lawyers Helping Victims of Physician Error

Laparoscopic surgery, which is performed using small incisions, offers many benefits. While this type of surgery offers the potential of faster recovery times and can allow surgical treatment in early stages, it still carries the risk of harm and complications. Sometimes surgeons performing laparoscopic procedures make serious mistakes. If you were harmed by laparoscopic surgery malpractice, you should consult the Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano.

What is Laparoscopic Surgery?

Laparoscopic surgery can be used to remove cysts and scar tissue, visualize an unusual tumor or mass, observe the progression of cancer, investigate the build-up of fluids in the abdominal cavity, repair a hernia, or remove a gall bladder.

During laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon will make tiny incisions and extend a laparoscope, a narrow tool with a camera and a tiny light attached to the end, into the incision. The camera will transmit an image to a connected monitor so that the surgeon can look inside the body without having to make a larger opening like in traditional surgery. Gas is sometimes injected to inflate the region to allow the surgeon to perform the procedure.

Laparoscopic Surgery Malpractice

As with open surgery, laparoscopic procedures bear certain risks. Serious complications can include damage to vital structures, cholecystectomy, abdominal wall hematoma, infection, burns, peritonitis, bowel perforation, and hemorrhage. Symptoms of complications can include fever, chills, or pain. Sometimes pneumoperitoneum occurs because there was too much gas in the peritoneal cavity within the abdominal cavity and serious complications like respiratory acidosis or hypothermia can occur as a result. However, complications do not necessarily mean medical malpractice occurred.

It isn’t possible to predict how a body will respond to laparoscopic surgery ahead of time. Because of the minimal invasiveness of laparoscopic surgery, a doctor might not become aware of complications the way she would after open surgery. Furthermore, if patients develop life-threatening complications after returning home, their access to treatment may be delayed.  

To establish laparoscopic surgery malpractice, you will need to show it’s more likely than not your health care provider owed you a professional standard of care and breached the professional standard, thereby causing you harm. The professional standard of care can be breached in many different ways during a laparoscopic surgery. For example, if your doctor doesn’t adequately monitor you after surgery, he may not realize your bleeding hasn’t slowed, and you could sustain serious harm from a hemorrhage. Alternatively, a doctor may breach the professional standard of care by failing to notice or timely respond to an organ perforation during a procedure, thereby causing serious harm to the patient. When a surgeon lacks sufficient experience to perform a laparoscopic surgery but proceeds in a complicated case without consulting a specialist, there may be a breach of the professional standard of care for the injuries suffered by the patient during the procedure.

Expert Opinions

In most cases, your lawyer will seek a credible and experienced doctor to provide an expert opinion about the professional standard of care, how it was breached, and whether the breach caused the harm. The professional standard of care is determined by examining what a reasonably prudent health care provider in the same specialty in or around Syracuse would have done. In a case involving catastrophic harm or death arising out of laparoscopic surgery, it may be necessary to retain a different expert on the scope of damages.


If you can establish that your laparoscopic surgeon breached the professional duty of care, you may be able to recover damages, which can include any economic or noneconomic losses that flow from the harm resulting from the malpractice. For instance, if you require a second surgery to repair an organ that was perforated through malpractice in an initial procedure, you may be able to recover the costs of that second procedure. You may also be able to recover economic losses, which include the loss of income, out-of-pocket expenses, and the cost of medication and medical equipment. Recoverable noneconomic losses include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment.

Consult a Seasoned Attorney in Syracuse

If your surgeon possibly committed malpractice during laparoscopic surgery, you should discuss your situation with a skilled lawyer as soon as possible. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, we represent patients and their families in Rochester, Syracuse and other cities in Upstate New York, including in Cooperstown, Auburn, Oneida, Canandaigua, Binghamton, Lyons, Oswego, Watertown, Wampsville, Elmira, Herkimer, Ithaca, Lowville, and Utica. Please 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