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The Risks of Unnecessary Surgery
Posted in Medical Malpractice on October 31, 2023
Undergoing surgery is a significant decision, often made while weighing the potential risks with the medical benefits. Yet, in some distressing cases, patients find themselves subjected to unnecessary surgeries—procedures that aren’t medically justified or could have been avoided through alternative treatments. They are often unaware of the risks of unnecessary surgery. These non-essential operations not only pose undue health risks but also contribute to emotional trauma, physical complications, and a loss of trust in the healthcare system.
What Are The Risks of Unnecessary Surgery?
#1: Surgical Complications
The immediate aftermath of unnecessary surgery can involve surgical complications that would have otherwise been avoidable. These can include excessive bleeding, which may require additional surgical intervention or a blood transfusion. Post-operative infections, a risk with any surgery, become particularly egregious, requiring further treatment, prolonging recovery, and potentially leading to conditions like sepsis if not properly managed.
#2: Adverse Drug Reactions or Anesthesia-Related Complications
Patients are subject to the effects of anesthesia and other medications during and after surgery, which can present their own complications. In some instances, adverse reactions to anesthesia can occur, ranging from mild allergic reactions to life-threatening responses like anaphylaxis. Other potential anesthesia-related complications include respiratory issues and cardiovascular effects.
#3: Post-Surgical Pain and Long-Term Discomfort
Unnecessary surgery can lead to ongoing pain at the incision site or in related areas of the body. Some patients experience chronic pain, a long-lasting affliction that can endure for months or even years. This persistent pain can reduce the patient’s quality of life, making everyday activities challenging and diminishing overall physical health.
#4: Compromised Immune System
Undergoing surgery can temporarily weaken the immune system, making the body more susceptible to infections, including pneumonia. For patients who have undergone unnecessary surgery, this risk is taken without a corresponding health benefit, potentially leading to further medical issues that require treatment.
#5: Scarring and Disfigurement
Physical appearances can change as a result of surgical procedures, with scarring or other forms of disfigurement a potential risk. For medically unnecessary procedures, these alterations serve as a constant reminder of the ordeal, often affecting a person’s self-esteem and mental well-being.
#6: Delayed Recovery Impacting Daily Life
Depending on the surgery performed, recovery times can be extensive, with periods of immobility or restricted activity. For unnecessary surgeries, this is time unjustly lost, where patients could have otherwise been engaging in personal, professional, or educational pursuits. With unnecessary surgery, the journey back to normal life is prolonged without a valid medical justification.
#7: Psychological Impact
Patients often experience a psychological toll from undergoing an invasive procedure. The stress of preparation, the fear of outcomes, and the process of recovery can be mentally exhausting. In cases of unnecessary surgery, the realization that they underwent a procedure for no valid medical cause can lead to feelings of violation and mistrust towards healthcare providers, contributing to long-term emotional and mental health issues.
Injured Due to an Unnecessary Surgery? Contact an Attorney
If you have been subjected to unnecessary surgery, the physical complications are often accompanied by a deep sense of mistrust and violation. In these situations, you deserve justice—and a Seattle medical malpractice lawyer can fight to hold the responsible party accountable.
No one should face these challenges alone. After addressing your medical needs, schedule a consultation with an attorney to protect your legal rights and begin your first steps toward a fair resolution.