Undergoing surgery is scary, and most people want to avoid it if they can. If a surgeon operated on you and then you learned that the procedure was unnecessary, you’d therefore be angry. Surgery is often expensive, and it’s accompanied by pain and discomfort. It can also leave a highly visible scar. It’s no wonder that you would consider reaching out to an Atlanta medical malpractice attorney for advice. But when exactly is a procedure unnecessary?
One study identified unnecessary surgery as any operation that is:
- Not needed
- Not indicated
- Not in the patient’s best interest when compared to other available options
It is important to note that not every case of unnecessary surgery is a case of medical malpractice. You need to prove that the surgeon or someone else involved in your case was negligent. This is a central aspect of any medical malpractice claim. Negligence refers to when a health care provider doesn’t exercise the same level of care that another in the same specialty would. Changes in the medical profession and the resources available to the professional are taken into account.
Proving Medical Negligence
If you want to hold a medical practitioner accountable, you’ll need to hire an attorney. They will obtain all your medical records relating to the incident and then hire an expert witness to review them. The witness will provide an opinion on whether your doctor was negligent. This expert is likely to be a professional in the same field as the doctor who you believe harmed you.
In some situations, there’s no need to have an independent expert testify. This is typically when an obvious error was made. If you were supposed to have surgery on your hand but your leg was amputated, this is an obvious error. However, if it’s a case where you believe there were better alternatives to surgery, you’ll need to have an expert on your side. An Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer can help you to build a strong case for compensation.
Why Surgeons Perform Unnecessary Procedures
If you’ve undergone surgery that you now believe was unnecessary, you may be wondering how something like that could happen. Doctors make mistakes for several reasons. Maybe the surgeon recommended the procedure because they would benefit financially, or they would get professional recognition. They may also have done what they were trained to do and what they have always done even if it wasn’t appropriate. This may be the case even though there were non-surgical treatments that would have been more effective.
Another possibility is that your condition was misdiagnosed, and the recommended treatment was, therefore, unnecessary. In cases where patients or body parts were mixed up, any number of factors could be involved. It may be difficult to determine exactly where the error originated, and a thorough investigation would be necessary.
Getting Compensation for Medical Malpractice
All surgeries come with risks but usually, the benefits outweigh the risks. On the other hand, unnecessary procedures can harm patients without providing any health benefits whatsoever. Patients can develop complications, experience side effects from anesthesia or pick up serious infections. Depending on the nature of the operation, they may face a long recovery period during which they can’t work and earn an income.
If performing the surgery violated the accepted standard of care and you can show that the practitioner’s actions caused you harm, you may have a medical malpractice case. However, you will need to work with an attorney to present the necessary evidence to support your case.
Even if it seems clear to you that a surgeon or a hospital was negligent, their insurance company will be reluctant to pay. Getting compensation is likely to be difficult. However, with an attorney on your side, you can recover both economic and non-economic damages. These can include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
Let Calvin Smith Law Help You with Your Medical Malpractice Claim
Healthcare professionals are supposed to make you better, not worse. Few things are more horrifying than undergoing a surgery that you didn’t actually need. It’s not merely an inconvenience; it can be very harmful. If you believe you had an unnecessary operation and you were injured, you need to contact a medical malpractice attorney in Atlanta.
The team at Calvin Smith Law can assist you in understanding the law and protecting your rights. If you were harmed by a negligent surgeon or hospital, you deserve fair compensation. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case with one of our attorneys and get advice on the next steps.