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Unnecessary Surgery: Another Form of Medical Malpractice

Steve Wagner

Around 48 million surgeries are performed each year in the United States. Shockingly, around 30% of these surgeries are completely unnecessary. That amounts to more than 7 million surgeries per year that should never have been performed in the first place. Unnecessary surgery is nothing more than a form of medical malpractice. These surgeries cost thousands of dollars and cause unnecessary pain and suffering to the victims. In fact, the only person who benefits from these surgeries is the performing surgeon who typically charges an exorbitant amount of money for services rendered.

A competent doctor will exhaust all other options of treatment before recommending surgery, as every surgery, even if it is a minor procedure, has a certain amount of risk attached to it. Unwarranted surgical procedures can also happen due to a misdiagnosis of the patient’s condition, and at other times, it is done simply because it is the most profitable thing to do. The worst part is that these surgeries do not fix the patient’s problem, but in fact, lead to other health problems and sometimes to death. Not only does the patient have to undergo the risks associated with an invasive procedure, like infections, hemorrhaging, and anesthesia risks, but after going through the trauma of surgery and the long recovery period, does not become healthier either.

In America, the most common unnecessary surgery is the coronary bypass surgery. It is estimated that about 80% to 90% of bypass surgeries are unnecessary. Each bypass surgery costs more than $44,000, adding up to billions of dollars every year. Other studies reveal that 20% of all pacemaker operations, 40% of angioplasty procedures, and 32% of carotid endarterectomies are probably unnecessary. Hysterectomies and Cesarean sections also top the list of most common unwarranted surgeries. It is estimated that more than two-thirds of the over 500,000 hysterectomies performed in a year are unnecessary. Cesarean sections are now the most common surgical procedure in the U.S. C-section rates in the U.S. are one of the highest in the world and the recent increase in C-sections has been termed as a ‘surgical epidemic’ by many. C-sections carry two to four times more risk to the mother than a normal vaginal delivery and should be done only if absolutely necessary.

On January 31st, 2013, the Indiana Court found Dr. Mark S. Weinberger guilty of medical malpractice after performing numerous unnecessary surgeries on his patients. This doctor from Merrilleville, Indiana, marketed himself as the ‘nose doctor’ claiming that he could provide relief from sinus related problems by drilling holes in the sinuses. Not only did these surgeries prove to be worthless, they actually made his patients feel worse. He performed hundreds of these unwarranted surgeries, amassing more than $30 million in three years. He is now serving a seven year sentence after he was found guilty on 22 counts of health-care fraud.

Unnecessary surgery is a serious case of medical negligence on the part of your doctor. If you or one of your loved ones has been put through the trauma of surgery unnecessarily, do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced Indiana medical malpractice attorneys today. We will provide you with a free consultation of your case and help you hold the person who betrayed your trust accountable.


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