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Surgical Oncology Expert Witnesses

Highly qualified experts on cancer treatment

Oncology is the medical specialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Surgical oncologists specialize in using surgery to treat cancer, including diagnosis, treatment, and management of complications.

Surgical oncologists in the United States must complete a medical degree (MD or DO) followed by a residency program in general surgery, which typically takes five to seven years. After completing residency, they must complete a one- to two-year fellowship program in surgical oncology. Board Certification for surgical oncologists is administered by the American Board of Surgery (ABOS).

Some of the procedures surgical oncologists perform include:

  • Biopsy: A biopsy is a procedure in which a small sample of tissue is removed from a suspected tumor and examined under a microscope to determine if it is cancerous.
  • Surgery to remove a tumor: Surgical oncologists perform various procedures to remove cancerous tumors from the body. These procedures may involve removing the tumor alone or removing surrounding tissue as well.
  • Lymph node dissection: In some cases, cancer can spread to the lymph nodes, which are small glands that help filter out foreign substances and fight infection. A lymph node dissection involves removing the lymph nodes in the affected area to prevent the spread of cancer.
  • Reconstruction: After a tumor is removed, surgical oncologists may perform reconstructive procedures to restore the appearance and function of the affected area. This may involve using implants or tissue from other parts of the body.
  • Palliative surgery: In cases where a tumor cannot be removed, surgical oncologists may perform palliative procedures to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life. For example, they may remove a portion of a tumor that is causing pain or pressure on surrounding organs.

Surgical oncologists work closely with medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and other medical professionals to create comprehensive care plans for cancer patients.

The role of the surgical oncologist as an expert witness

As with any surgery, surgical errors in cancer surgery can cause significant harm to patients. In medical malpractice claims involving errors during cancer surgery, a Board-Certified surgical oncologist can explain the applicable standard of care and opine whether the defendant's surgeon met that standard. Surgical oncologists can also offer opinions on the causation of patients’ injuries and the damages resulting from those injuries.

In addition, surgical oncologists can be important expert witnesses in cases involving misdiagnosis and delayed cancer diagnosis. A surgical oncologist can offer their professional opinion on whether early detection and surgical intervention could have led to a better outcome for the patient.

In all types of cases involving cancer, including toxic exposure and occupational exposure matters, a surgical oncologist can offer professional opinions on the cause, the prognosis, and the cost of surgical treatment for cancer.

Talk to Rieback Medical-Legal Consultants today

For decades, we’ve been helping America’s finest medical malpractice and personal injury attorneys with high-stakes litigation. In cases involving cancer diagnosis or treatment, having the right expert witness is critical. Our network includes Board-Certified surgical oncologists who are prepared to offer objective testimony in depositions and at trial. Contact us today for a free case summary review.

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