You’ve had a surgical procedure. At the time, you thought the procedure was medically necessary. However, sometime later, you realized that you shouldn’t have had the surgery. It wasn’t appropriate for your condition, and other treatments would have been better.
If you’re the victim of unnecessary surgery, you may wonder if it’s worth bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Unnecessary surgery may be the basis of a medical malpractice claim – but is it worth it? Our medical malpractice lawyers explain.
What is Considered Unnecessary Surgery?
Unnecessary surgery is surgery that is not needed or appropriate given the other options for medical care.
A surgery that would not have been necessary but for previous medical malpractice is also an unnecessary surgery.
What Damage May Result from an Unnecessary Surgery?
A person who receives an unnecessary surgery may suffer in many ways, including:
- Bleeding and clotting
- Additional malpractice during the surgery, like a sponge left in the body
- Recovery time, pain, and rehabilitation; time away from routines and activities
- Breathing difficulty
- Financial expense
- The need for personal care and care for family
- Emotional anguish and the stress of having a surgery
Having an unneeded surgery may cause physical, emotional, and financial damage. If you are the victim of medical malpractice, you may receive compensation by bringing a legal claim.
What are some examples of unnecessary surgeries?
Common examples of unnecessary surgeries are:
- Back and spine procedures, spinal fusion
- Gallbladder removal
- Hip surgery
- Heart stents and pacemakers, angioplasty, bypasses
- Endoscopic sinus surgery
Is Unnecessary Surgery Malpractice in South Carolina?
Unnecessary surgery may be medical malpractice in South Carolina. S.C. Code § 15-79-110(6) defines medical malpractice as doing what a reasonable health care provider or institution would not do or not doing what they would do in similar circumstances. If the surgery wasn’t reasonable medical care, based on prevailing medical standards, it may be malpractice in South Carolina.
Can You Get Compensation for an Unnecessary Surgery?
It may be possible to get compensation for unnecessary surgery. It can be the basis for a medical malpractice claim for compensation. See Baxley v. Rosenblum, 303 S.C. 340 (1991); See also Rojas v. Gonzales, unpublished opinion per curiam Michigan Court of Appeals No. 222298 (2001).
Should You Bring a Medical Malpractice Claim Because of Unnecessary Surgery?
Whether it’s worth it to bring a medical malpractice claim because of unnecessary surgery depends on several factors:
How clear is it that medical malpractice occurred?
How complex would it be to prove that the surgery wasn’t needed? Proving that ordering the surgery fell below acceptable medical standards may be simple, and it may be complex. Whether it’s worth bringing a claim may depend on how easily you can show you shouldn’t have had the surgery.
What are your damages?
What financial losses and pain and suffering do you have because of the surgery? How do your losses translate into the value of a claim? Determining whether to file a claim is a balancing test of what you stand to gain versus the task of bringing and proving the case. Knowing what your case may be worth is critical to weighing the pros and cons of whether it’s worth it to bring a claim.
Is accountability important to you?
Is it your goal to hold the care provider accountable for their actions? If so, it may weigh in favor of being a medical malpractice claim.
Don’t underestimate what your claim may be worth! With pain and suffering, your case may be worth more than you realize. Determining whether it’s worth it to bring your claim involves weighing all the pros and cons involved in bringing the claim. Contact our medical malpractice lawyers for a review of your claim.
Why Do Doctors Perform Unnecessary Surgery?
With unnecessary surgeries being grounds for medical malpractice, you may wonder why doctors engage in the practice. After all, wouldn’t it be safer not to? Doctors may perform an unneeded procedure out of habit because “that’s what we’ve always done.” They may be financially incentivized by collecting payments and insurance money for each procedure performed. They may be wary of doing too little and believe that performing a surgery is the best way to avoid scrutiny.