Over 120,000 surgical procedures are performed each day in the United States. While some surgeries are emergency procedures performed to save lives, others are planned procedures done to improve a patient’s health. Whatever the reason, a surgeon needs to ensure that the procedure is medically necessary. Sometimes, however, people get wheeled into operating rooms and undergo unnecessary surgeries.
Tens of thousands of people every year across the country are operated on when it isn’t necessary. According to an article in USA Today, anywhere from 10% to 20% of all operations are unnecessary. Some of the most common unnecessary surgeries include angioplasty and pacemaker implants, spinal surgeries, knee replacements, hysterectomies, and cesarean sections.
Unnecessary surgeries can occur for a number of reasons, including:
- Mixing up patients. If a hospital or medical center gets patients mixed up and a doctor performs surgery on someone that was intended for another patient, it would be considered unnecessary surgery that could be grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
- Doctor negligence. If a doctor performs an evaluation of a patient poorly (e.g., didn’t order the right tests, didn’t conduct a medical or family history, or didn’t explore non-surgical treatments first, if applicable), a doctor may jump to a diagnosis that isn’t accurate. In addition, a doctor could have misinterpreted or misread test results and made a misdiagnosis. Consequently, a surgery may have been ordered for a patient that wasn’t necessary.
- Crooked physicians. A small percentage of doctors are crooked and bilk insurance companies. They know they make more money on the number of surgeries they do, so they purposely recommend surgeries to their patients that are unnecessary just so they can bill insurers for operations and make more money.
Because many things can and do go wrong during surgery, unnecessary surgeries can cause disfigurement, disabilities, and even death. This is because complications can arise during surgery as a result of anesthesia errors, poor intubation and lung collapse, accidental perforations of organs, and failure to monitor patients’ vitals. Even infections can arise after surgery that can put patients’ lives in danger. Sadly, unnecessary operations can lead to chronic pain, heart attacks, strokes, infections, paralysis, and even death.
If you are wondering whether you have a valid case, please contact us with the particulars of your situation and we will give you a free, no-obligation consultation.