Whether you’re having a knee replacement surgery or you need to have tissue removed because of cancer growth, having the surgery performed in the correct location on your body is of the utmost importance.

That may seem like a very basic thing to point out, but unfortunately, wrong-site surgeries are more common than people might suspect. Every week across the United States, some people come out of anesthesia to discover that the surgeon operated on the wrong side of their body or the wrong location entirely.

Permanent markers identify the surgery site

In order to help reduce the number of surgeries that occur in the wrong location, some hospitals have started having patients identify the surgical site before anesthesia. The patient will use a marker to draw a circle or an X around the place where the surgery should take place. Doing so greatly reduces the likelihood of eye doctor operating on the wrong side of the body.

Experts recommend bringing your own marker for contamination reasons

As if worrying about the potential for an operation on the wrong side of your body wasn’t stressful enough, you also have to consider the possibility that the marker itself could carry pathogens from another patient to your body.

Although it may seem like a silly expense, bringing your own permanent marker will reduce your risk of infection from a hospital marker while simultaneously ensuring that the staff members comply with best practices since you can mark yourself even if they don’t ask you to do it.

Those who fall victim to surgical mistakes like wrong-site surgery will have the option of seeking compensation through a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit.