Did you have your gallbladder removed last year? How about an appendix or more significantly a cancerous tumor?

If you did and want to know exactly how the procedure went (and whether complications were encountered despite what your doctor said afterwards), you can easily request your Operative Note/Report. You will also want to request the Pathology Report which details exactly what piece of tissue or organ was removed, and whether the tissue or organ was healthy.

Virginia law allows you (or a family member or legal representative) to obtain a copy of these important records. All it takes is a signature on a medical release authorization and a request for the records. By law, the hospital record department has 15 days to produce the requested records. They may charge you .50 cents a page for the first 50 pages of records and a search/handling fee not to exceed $10. Typically, the Operative Note/Report will not exceed 4 pages and the Pathology Report should be less than 5 pages. So, for about $14.50 you can read exactly what your surgeon did during the procedure and what the pathology department determined was removed. Pretty cheap price to pay for some awfully good information.

All of the following Virginia hospitals are required to provide you with these records:

Alleghany Regional Hospital
Bedford Memorial Hospital
Blue Ridge Surgery Center
Buchanan General Hospital
Carilion Brambleton Surgical Center
Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital
Carilion Giles Memorial Hospital
Carilion Medical Center
Carilion New River Valley Medical Center
Carilion Tazewell Community Hospital
Center for Restorative Care and Rehabilitation
Centra Health
Clinch Valley Medical Center
Danville Regional Medical Center
Dickenson Community Hospital
Johnston Memorial Hospital
Lee Regional Medical Center
Lewis-Gale Medical Center
Memorial Hospital of Martinsville & Henry County
Montgomery Regional Hospital
Mountain View Regional Medical Center
New River Valley Surgery Center
Norton Community Hospital
Piedmont Day Surgery Center
Pioneer Community Hospital of Patrick County, Inc.
Pulaski Community Hospital
Roanoke Ambulatory Surgical Center
Roanoke Valley Center for Sight
Russell County Medical Center
Smyth County Community Hospital
Surgery Center of Lynchburg
Twin County Regional Hospital
Wellmont Lonesome Pine Hospital
Wythe County Community Hospital

Dan Frith

Dan Frith

Dan Frith has over 25 years of experience representing individuals and families in cases of medical malpractice throughout Virginia. He has been named "Best Medical Malpractice Attorney" by Roanoker Magazine and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with Dan, contact him by email at dfrith@frithlawfirm.com.