Imagine Having the Wrong Side of Your Brain Operated On

February 18, 2016

Surgeon Performs Craniotomy on Wrong Side

Wrong side brain surgery

Operating on the wrong side of the head creates unnecessary dangers for the patient. It is a violation of the medical standard of care.

When it comes to surgery there are some things that should simply never happen. And one such thing is that a doctor should never operate on the wrong side of someone’s body. And yet, such things happen entirely too often. If you woke up only to find out that a surgeon operated on the wrong side of your head, you would be devastated, and understandably so. When a hospital follows the correct procedures, such basic mistakes are easily avoided. Here we have a real-life case of a man who experienced a craniotomy on the wrong side of his head.

Wrong Side Craniotomy

A 30 year old man required a craniotomy. A craniotomy is the “surgical removal of part of the bone from the skull to expose the brain.” This kind of surgery may be performed for a number of reasons. It is frequently performed to remove pressure from the brain, as was the reason in this case. The patient was in a car crash and suffered from a brain bleed and a skull fracture on the left side of the head. Scans were provided to the neurosurgeon, making it clear that the problem required a craniotomy on the left side of the head. And yet, the surgeon performed the surgery on the right side.

Breach of Standard of Care

One requirement to find medical malpractice is that there be a breach of the medical standard of care. Operating on the wrong side of the body is always a breach of the medical standard of care. In such a case, the doctor, the surgical staff and the hospital itself may all be responsible for this serious and potentially deadly problem.


When a doctor or hospital violates the standard of care, another question that must be asked is what damages did the patient suffer. For a medical malpractice case, the damages must be directly related to the breach. In this case, there is a risk of myriad damages for such a serious type of surgery. Such damages could include:

  • Brain damage to the right side
  • Stroke
  • Hemorrhage
  • Infection
  • Death

    Unnecessary surgery.

    Any surgery creates a risk of complications. Unnecessary surgery creates an unnecessary risk.

When a surgery such as a craniotomy has to be performed twice, the risk of serious complications is doubled. The longer a patient has to be under anesthesia, the greater the chances of a problem. In this case, the patient developed a seizure disorder. The question would be whether the first surgery caused the seizure disorder or the second one did. A deep analysis of the medical records and the patient’s current medical state will need to be performed in this particular case, to determine exactly what caused the harm to him.

Did You Experience a Wrong Site Surgery?

If you experienced wrong site surgery, there is little doubt that the doctor who performed it and his staff violated the medical standard of care. It would take a medical malpractice lawyer to help you determine if you suffered serious damage due to the fact that the wrong surgery was performed. For help with any botched surgery case, please feel free to contact our firm of experienced malpractice attorneys. We are here to help you get to the bottom of what happened to you and to seek compensation if you suffered due to the negligence of a doctor, hospital or other medical professional.


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