Unnecessary surgeries put unwarranted risks on Michigan patients

Many surgical procedures are performed unnecessarily, putting patients at risk for much more serious complications, including worsened conditions and death.

When it comes to matters of their health, many people in Michigan put their trust in their physicians. Since health care professionals typically undergo extensive schooling and training, people feel safe trusting their recommendations. Not all doctors, however, offer advice based on what is in the patient's best interests. According to a USA Today report, tens of thousands of patients undergo surgical procedures that are not necessary each year. In certain specialties, it was reported that between 10 and 20 percent of all operations are not actually medically necessary.

A neurosurgeon in Bloomfield Hills, just north of Detroit, is among the most recent physicians to be accused of performing unnecessary operations. The FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice conducted an extensive investigation into his practices. This investigation, according to The Detroit News, found evidence that the neurosurgeon had regularly recommended operations patients did not need. It was also found that, in some cases, he did not perform the actual surgical procedures that he said he was. At least one of his patients died after undergoing surgery. Several others continued to experience pain after their operations.

What are the risks of unnecessary surgeries?

Even the most minor, everyday surgical procedures carry at least some risk. These potential dangers are present in operations that patients need, as well as those that they do not need. Since most surgeries require some type of incision, patients often experience pain during their recoveries. For patients who undergo needless surgeries, this can mean being subjected to unnecessary pain.

Beyond the pain that often accompanies unwarranted operations, patients are also put at risk for surgical complications. According to The Physicians Committee, patients can be in danger of hemorrhaging, or bleeding out during a number of commonly, and unnecessarily, performed procedures. Furthermore, as a result of needless surgeries, patients may develop additional, or worsened, medical conditions. This can include nerve damage, blood clots, paralysis and numerous other ailments. Patients may also develop infections after undergoing such procedures, including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, more commonly referred to as MRSA.

How can people avoid undergoing unnecessary surgical procedures?

There are a number of steps that people in Michigan, and elsewhere, can take to help ensure they are not the victims of medical malpractice and surgery errors, including unnecessary procedures. One of the most important things that patients can do is to ask questions of their medical professionals. This can help ensure that they understand the type of procedure they are set to undergo, and the associated risks and benefits. Additionally, it may be beneficial for patients to research operations on their own prior to undergoing them. If something does not feel or sound right, people should not be afraid to seek out a second opinion when it comes to their health.

Seeking professional legal advice

In addition to placing patients at risk of pain or complications, many unnecessary surgeries also carry undue expenses. Working with a legal professional m ay help people who have been the victims of such procedures to understand their rights and options for taking legal action.

Keywords: malpractice, surgery, error