Wrestler Hulk Hogan recently filed a lawsuit against a clinic in Florida he claims performed unnecessary spinal surgery that resulted in damage to his career. How often are claims like this filed, and have you or someone you know received what you suspect to have been unnecessary surgery that did not yield the desired results?
When putting your life in the hands of a surgeon, your trust and faith is paramount. After all, in some cases, your physical appearance may be altered. Typically the process unfolds: you’ve met with the surgeon, taken part in pre-surgery consultations, and have been briefed on the expected outcome. You’re anxious for your life to begin with your new body, whether it be spinal surgery, plastic surgery or emergency surgery. Sometimes, however, surgeons recommend a procedure that we might not think we need, although it’s implied the outcome will be better if the surgery takes place.
In addition to Hulk Hogan’s claim for unnecessary spinal surgery, other types of surgery that are said to fall in the same category as being unnecessary include: pacemaker implants, bypass surgery, hysterectomies, balloon angioplasty and C-sections. Hysterectomies alone are the cause of 2,500 deaths annually out of the hundreds of thousands that are performed each year. With any major surgery, patients face extensive recovery time, as well as physical, mental and financial strain. Complications may occur and, in extreme cases, death from infection or cardiac arrest.
What causes these unnecessary surgeries? Ironically enough, the fear of malpractice lawsuits has given rise to the resurgence of unnecessary surgery, as doctors and surgeons would rather “take care of the problem” than provide alternative methods for caring for the disease. Yet, they are the very same surgeons who find themselves in the middle of a lawsuit. Insurance companies sometimes require surgeries to take place in an effort to make up for the loss of income they experienced in previous years. And, patient demand to have a problem resolved causes many surgeons to feel as though they are backed into a corner.
Medical malpractice surgery cases can be difficult for the person who attempts to file a claim on his own. Proving malpractice is very clear in some cases, and not so clear in others. All unnecessary surgery does not automatically ensure a malpractice lawsuit. This means that many are handled on a case-by-case basis, as each one presents an individual situation: who wanted the surgery, how was the surgery described, what documentation was prepared. The attorney or client must first prove negligence, and may enlist the opinion of another surgeon who could attest the particular surgery was not necessary. Medical experts may be called, and their time can be costly. Many events that occur before, during and after surgery will find themselves taking part in the history of each individual case.
Before you have any surgery, it is worth noting the importance of patient rights, including the right to a second opinion, particularly when it comes to major surgery. Explore other options and alterative therapies and treatment if those treatments align with your philosophies, ask questions and obtain as much information about the procedure as possible, look at daily changes you can make that would lend themselves to your recovery, and be aware of the risks and complications.
If you find that you have had an unnecessary surgery that did not yield the intended results and you continue to suffer physically, emotionally or financially, you will want to seek the advice of a Manhattan law firm who specializes in medical malpractice cases of this kind. Remember, an unnecessary surgery can wreak havoc on your plans for the future. Secure your future with the proper assistance to move forward in a healthy way.