Medical malpractice takes many forms, one of the riskiest and most disturbing being that of unnecessary surgical procedures. Any surgery carries risks, and that is why patients put their trust in medical professionals and surgeons to recommend surgical procedures only when absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, not all surgeons are honest or even upfront with their patients. There are instances where unethical doctors throughout the United States will recommend and perform unnecessary surgical procedures just to collect insurance money.
The Dangers of These Unnecessary Surgeries
Any unnecessary medical procedure puts a patient at risk. It exposes them to pain and suffering, surgical risks, recovery issues, copay, medical bills, time away from work, and other costs. It is said that there are millions of dollars billed to insurance providers each year for unnecessary surgeries in the United States, which forces insurance companies to increase their premiums.
Some of the more common surgeries that are performed and often unnecessary include:
- Knee replacement
- Radical prostate removal
- Gallbladder removal
Avoiding Unnecessary Surgeries
As a patient, there are things you can do to help prevent yourself from becoming a victim of unnecessary surgeries and medical procedures. These things include:
- Research the physician. If you are meeting with a physician and their first response is to suggest surgery, do some research. Find out about their credentials and even their diagnosing behaviors – do they often recommend surgery versus other treatment options?
- Get a second opinion. There is nothing wrong with seeking a second opinion from another physician in the same field. Doing so can ensure you really are receiving the advice to have surgery out of medical necessity instead of insurance payouts.
- Know the surgery and risks. It is the physician and surgeon’s job to inform you of any associated risks, but you too should do your own research and see what risks there are for your age, underlying medical conditions, etc. Get to know the recovery process and time frame as well – so you know how long you can expect to be out of work, away from family, etc.
- Select doctors carefully. You should always select your physician with care. Do not rely on insurance recommendations; instead, ask family, friends and other trusted physicians who they would refer for your particular medical concern.
- Look for alternatives. Every surgery has a non-surgical option. You may want to explore all alternatives and discuss them with your doctor. In some cases, you may not qualify for the non-surgical option, but at least understanding why and what alternatives are available is important.
If you are the victim of unnecessary surgery or other forms of medical malpractice, you are not alone. Speak with an attorney from Malman Law today regarding your unnecessary medical procedure. Our attorneys will explore your options for compensation. Contact us at 888-675-9854 or fill out an online contact form with your questions.