Anyone can become a victim of medical malpractice. Just ask wrestling star Hulk Hogan, who recently filed a $50 million lawsuit against a spine institute in Florida.
The claim is that he was unnecessarily put through six minimally invasive endoscopic surgical procedures. He had been suffering a back injury and was scheduled to undergo spinal surgery.
However, the doctors reportedly informed him that the procedure would permanently end his wrestling career. Over a period of 19 months, he would experience just short-term relief. Allegedly, the nerves that the doctors worked on during surgery, through a process of burning, eventually would regenerate and Hogan again would suffer pain.
He did eventually have the spinal surgery and was able to return to wrestling. He filed the $50 million lawsuit to compensate for his lost earnings during the time he was unable to work.
Why would someone be forced to undergo unnecessary surgery?
One reason is the doctor doesn’t have enough information or training to make an informed decision but felt pressure to move ahead, regardless. Sometimes, because of real or imagined time constraints or because of cost, not all the alternatives are investigated.
Another reason is a misdiagnosis. This can happen when symptoms are similar to another medical condition. It is unfortunate, but sometimes it takes reviewing the outcome of a surgery for a doctor to understand an illness or injury fully. Failure to run a battery of tests can sometimes lead to misdiagnosis.
Sometimes it’s a matter of over-treating a condition. Instead of taking a “wait-and-see” approach, there may be a rush to use an invasive form of treatment. Examples of surgeries that may be unnecessary include coronary bypass, hysterectomy, caesarean section, mastectomy and prostatectomy. Patients who are suggested to undergo these procedures may want to get a second opinion.
The law firm of Gacovino, Lake & Associates is here to help, either before or after a surgical procedure, if a patient feels there is medical malpractice afoot.