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Unnecessary surgery, a shadow behind medical malpractice claims

Differentiating what is needed and what is not often seems easy to do, especially if a person is already suffering from illness or injury. In Maryland, people trust doctors to take care of their health. Some people are willing to undergo certain procedures to improve their well-being, so long as the doctor is the one to give the advice. However, by doing so, they may be endangering themselves, as the latest study shows that thousands of patients are undergoing unnecessary surgeries each year. This can result in serious injury or even death to the patient in some cases.

An aspiring 22-year-old athlete was robbed of his dream following an unnecessary surgery. His cardiologist told him that he needed a pacemaker if he wanted to live to see the age of 30, only to find out years later that the procedure was unnecessary for his medical condition. After the surgery, the cardiologist was investigated for unnecessary surgeries on a broader scale. To make matters worse, the athlete found out that blood pressure medication was the only treatment that he ever needed.

This story is an eye-opener for the public. It is an enormous problem that haunts many people. Sometimes, the effect of an unnecessary surgery goes unnoticed until later, when the problem recurs and causes chronic pain to the patient.

The issue is not only related to pacemakers. Certain surgeries like knee replacements, spinal surgeries and caesarean sections are performed more often than necessary. When patients undergo surgeries that are not needed in the first place, they may suffer from strokes, heart attacks, paralysis and infections.

Considering all the facts, people should take the time to pursue a second opinion rather than rushing into surgery. That is one way of avoiding unnecessary surgeries that may change their life permanently.

However, if the person has already suffered from an injury due to unnecessary surgery, he or she may be entitled to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. If he or she is eligible to do so, then the victim of the medical malpractice potentially can recover compensation for his or her losses resulting from the unnecessary surgery.

Source: USA Today, "Doctors perform thousands of unnecessary surgeries," Peter Eisler and Barbara Hansen, June 19, 2013

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