When you are in pain, you want to find a solution and get some relief, and that is what laser spine surgeries are supposed to do. However, some medical facilities have created a lucrative business model without enough concern about those who undergo the procedure. Many patients are experiencing more pain than before their laser spine surgery. The surgeries have left these patients in worse physical condition, often with additional medical costs.
If you have been injured during a laser spinal surgery, you may be entitled to bring a medical malpractice claim. These claims are complicated. The medical malpractice attorneys at Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer can guide you through this complicated process.
What You Need To Know About Laser Spine Surgery
Laser spine surgery is one of the latest trends in neck or back pain relief. Doctors claim that this process gives patients relief from pain with quick and minimally invasive surgery. However, the procedure has led to many medical malpractice claims.
Often laser spine surgery facilities are owned by practicing surgeons. These facilities may lack the licensing to house patients for overnight monitoring, which may result in patients being discharged before they are medically stable to be released. Without proper monitoring, patients may be discharged with medical or surgical complications that are unrecognized, leading to a critical delay in diagnosis and treatment. Surgical patients with other medical problems are especially vulnerable if discharged too soon.
In addition, surgeons who own their facilities have a financial interest in encouraging their patients to utilize the facility, which, under certain circumstances, can conflict with the best interest of the patient. Many medical professionals do not endorse the spine surgery offered by these facilities. Spine surgery is often available at a lower price in safer medical facilities, where, most importantly, emergency healthcare providers and medical equipment are readily available should something go wrong.
Laser spine surgery may be a simple surgery, but it can run a higher risk of severe complications. According to a report by Bloomberg news, one of the most well-known spinal treatment centers had seven times the number of malpractice claims filed against it compared to other outpatient surgery facilities.
Understanding How Medical Malpractice May Cause Spinal Cord Injuries
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional causes injury or death by failing to adhere to the profession’s standard of care. Like all healthcare professionals, laser spine surgeons must act within the standard of care for their profession when treating patients. This duty includes not only properly performing the surgery, but also giving appropriate treatment recommendations in the first place and timely diagnosing and treating any surgical complications arising during or after the procedure.
It is not uncommon for people to suffer from neck or back pain as the result of a herniated disc or other spinal problem. Laser spine surgery is often presented as a safer alternative to traditional surgery, but it isn’t appropriate for every neck or back pain issue. Proper patient selection is important. Surgeons who negligently recommend laser spine surgery for an inappropriate candidate may cause his or her patient additional pain and suffering from the procedure.
With these minimally invasive procedures, doctors make a small incision. They use a laser to operate on specific discs. Unlike traditional surgery, the muscles near the spine do not need to be moved. In theory, there should be less pain and a shorter recovery time for the patient. However, with any operation to the spinal region, you run the risk of a spinal cord injury.
With the use of the laser, the surgeon may cause nerve damage, inflicting harm on surrounding tissue. There are some situations where the laser cannot be angled to address a specific problem. In some cases, the heat from the laser may damage the nerves around the spine area. Some laser spine surgeons may also enter below the correct depth of penetration and cause additional harm to the patient.
If the doctor negligently performs the surgery, you may be left with severe spinal cord injuries. Some patients may become paralyzed after the procedure, suffering paraplegia, which can affect the trunk, pelvic area and legs or, quadriplegia, causing paralysis to the arms and hands.
Traumatic spinal cord injuries are devastating for the patients and their loved ones. If you have been injured during laser spinal surgery, contact a Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer attorney to help you determine if you have a medical malpractice claim.
Is There A Statute of Limitations in Laser Spine Cases?
A statute of limitations sets the maximum time from the date of the alleged incident within which the injured party must initiate legal proceedings. The length of time that the law allows can vary from one state to the other. For civil cases, there are clear deadlines for filing your claim for medical malpractice. If you fail to file within your state’s statute of limitations, you could lose your right to make a claim.
Depending on your state’s time limitations, you may need to act quickly. As soon as possible after you become concerned that something may have gone wrong, you should seek legal help. The lawyers at Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer can assist you in determining whether you have been a victim of medical malpractice.
It is imperative to keep all documentation about your surgery. You should keep a record about the specifics of your pre- and post-surgery office visits, including the surgeon’s name and the date of the procedure. Many patients even keep track of their symptoms so that they can see how their physical health regressed because of a faulty medical procedure.
Who Is Liable in a Laser Spine Surgery Malpractice Case?
During any surgery, mistakes may be made. However, not all mistakes are considered medical malpractice. When a healthcare provider’s error has caused harm, you need to find out if he or she is liable for negligence. In laser spine surgery cases, the staff, surgeon, and facility may all be liable.
Before the surgery, patients are briefed on the risks of the procedure. However, some doctors fail to notify patients of specific risks. With laser spine surgeries, the surgeon may promote the ease of the procedure without specifying all possible complications and alternative treatment options. Under these circumstances, the surgeon may be responsible for any injuries resulting from the patient’s lack of informed consent to undergo the procedure.
The staff or surgeon may have acted negligently before, during or after the procedure. Patients need to be properly prepped before the surgery; if they aren’t, it may result in harm to the patient during the procedure. In some cases, the medical staff may fail to monitor vital signs, which can also lead to complications. The doctor may have pointed the laser at the wrong disc or damaged the nerve in certain areas. Finally, patients need to be monitored after the surgery. In many laser surgery centers, the patients are released on the same day, leading to complications for some recovering patients. All of these mistakes may cause harm to a patient and could be the basis for a medical malpractice claim.
It can be challenging to prove a medical malpractice case. You must first show that the healthcare professional owed you a duty of care. If the laser spine surgeon agreed to provide treatment, then he or she owes you a duty to provide you with “reasonably skillful and careful” medical care. Medical malpractice plaintiffs must also prove the doctor was negligent. When you file a claim, you must prove that requirement before the court. Every state requires a doctor or surgeon to treat all patients with a standardized level of care.
Finally, the patient must prove that the malpractice led to an injury. When the doctor performs below the standard of care without harm, then there is no legal claim. For a malpractice case, the surgeon or doctor must have acted negligently and caused a specific injury to the patient.
What Compensation May Be Recovered in a Laser Spine Surgery Malpractice Case?
In laser spine surgery cases, the damages are considered compensatory. The patient brings a claim seeking damages meant to compensate for pain, suffering, lost wages and medical costs. If there was damage to the spine, the patient could be left with a permanently debilitating injury. Unfortunately, there have been cases of wrongful death as well. When that happens, the family can sue the medical provider for wrongful death.
For those affected by laser spine surgery injuries, you may be entitled to economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages reimburse the patient for measurable expenses, such as medical care costs, lost wages, rehabilitation costs and additional disability costs. You need to keep your records together to get a precise estimate of these amounts.
Non-economic damages compensate the patient for emotional suffering, disfigurement, physical pain and loss of quality of life.
What To Do If You Suffered Laser Spine Injuries
If you or a loved one have suffered from a negligent laser spine surgery procedure, then you may be able to file a claim against the surgeon and the facility. You need to find the right attorney to examine the facts of your case and help you proceed with your potential legal claim.
At Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer, we are committed to pursuing full compensation for those harmed as a result of medical malpractice. To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, please fill out the contact form at www.rayneslaw.com or call our toll-free number at (800) 535-1797. A member of our legal team will get back to you shortly.
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