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Outpatient Surgery Malpractice

Lawyers for Syracuse Medical Negligence Cases

Many patients are excited about the possibility of outpatient surgery, since it allows them to have minimal disruption in their daily lives, while still obtaining the benefits of surgery. Many doctors prefer to own a surgical facility or ambulatory surgery center for greater profit and ease. Insurance companies like outpatient surgery because money is saved. Unfortunately, there are situations in which an outpatient surgery center doesn’t follow the same standards that other hospitals would. If you believe you were injured as a result of outpatient surgery malpractice, a skilled Syracuse medical malpractice attorney can help you assert your rights.

Outpatient Surgery Malpractice

Surgery is serious, and there are significant risks. Surgical facilities that perform outpatient surgical procedures must adhere to rigorous safety standards equal to those that would be used at an inpatient hospital. Sometimes laparoscopic options are available for outpatient procedures; these are procedures that are minimally invasive. If you were injured as a result of outpatient surgery malpractice, you may be able to recover damages by bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Not every mistake made in outpatient surgery counts as medical malpractice. To establish a claim under this theory, you will need to show: (1) you were owed a professional standard of care, (2) breach of the professional standard of care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. It may be a breach of the professional standard of care, for example, to not recognize that a patient is injured prior to discharging him or her. Where there has an outpatient surgery, a nurse or doctor might not realize there is an organ that has been perforated and discharge a patient too rapidly, resulting in the patient’s sepsis. As another example, there may be a breach of the professional standard of care where a patient wasn’t healthy enough to go through an outpatient surgical procedure and should have had the procedure performed in an acute care hospital.

Vicarious Liability

Sometimes the outpatient surgical facility can be held vicariously liable for a surgeon’s or anesthesiologist’s medical malpractice. However, this is only appropriate where the surgeon or anesthesiologist is an employee of the facility. In New York, an outpatient surgical facility can be held vicariously liable for the acts or omissions of a doctor who is not an employee under an apparent agency theory where the facility gives patients the appearance that the doctor is acting on its behalf. A knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer can assist you in determining whether you may have a vicarious liability claim.

Statute of Limitations

In New York, you only have a limited window of time within which to bring a lawsuit for outpatient surgery malpractice. You have two and a half years to file your complaint. As with other medical malpractice lawsuits in the state, you will need to file the complaint along with a certificate of merit. Generally, this means you will need to send the facts and your medical records to a doctor licensed to practice, usually a surgeon in outpatient surgery cases, who is knowledgeable about the relevant issues, and obtain their opinion as to whether the potential claim is meritorious and whether it’s reasonable to commence the action.

This clock won’t start running on your lawsuit deadline until you conclude your course of treatment at the outpatient surgical center. If a foreign object was left inside your body during the outpatient procedure, you’ll need to sue within one year of discovering this or the date on which you discovered facts that would have reasonably led to such a discovery, whichever occurs earlier.


If you are able to establish liability for outpatient surgery malpractice, you may be able to recover damages from a health care provider or facility. In most cases, damages are compensatory. That is, they are awarded to put a patient back in the place she would have been in had there been no malpractice. Compensatory damages can include amounts for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Consult a Seasoned Surgical Malpractice Attorney in Syracuse

If you were harmed by outpatient surgical malpractice in or around Syracuse, you can consult a medical malpractice attorney. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represents people in Syracuse, Rochester, and throughout Upstate New York, including in Canandaigua, Binghamton, Cooperstown, Auburn, Lyons, Herkimer, Elmira, Wampsville, Ithaca, Utica, Lowville, Oswego, Oneida, and Watertown. Call DeFrancisco & Falgiatano at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form.

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"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
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