It’s understandable that you might feel stressed or worried if a California physician has recommended that you have spinal surgery. Any medical procedure, especially one involving the central nervous system and spine, carries a risk for personal injury. However, you can reasonably expect that your medical team will act in accordance with state laws and accepted safety standards to reduce the chance of error during and after your surgery.
You will no doubt meet with your surgeon several times before the date of your surgery. These pre-op sessions are important, and your doctor knows to do several things to help keep you safe in the weeks and months ahead. Sadly, medical malpractice is problematic throughout the state and across the country. Surgery-related injuries often occur due to substandard medical care.
Be proactive during pre-op meetings with your medical team
Doctors, nurses, lab technicians and all other members of a medical team are capable of error and more likely to make a mistake if they disregard protocol or safety measures. It’s a good idea to ask lots of questions when you meet with your primary care physician and surgeon before a spinal operation.
Your surgeon should inform you about potential surgery complications. He or she will also want to discuss any medications you might be taking prior to surgery and whether you should continue to take them or stop. Your surgeon should also explain what will occur during post-op care, including whether you will need physical therapy or other rehabilitative services to aid your recovery.
Your surgeon must determine if you are a good candidate for spinal surgery
Any number of issues might prompt the average surgeon to recommend delaying a spinal surgery. In fact, after discussing your physical and mental health, it’s possible that your surgeon might determine that you’re not a good candidate for a specific procedure at a particular point in time.
A surgeon should never perform a spinal surgery without first determining that the patient in question is a good candidate for the procedure.
Common surgical errors that can result in a worsened condition
As you prepare for surgery, your medical team must take certain steps to avoid errors. For instance, they must confirm that you are the correct patient scheduled for a specific procedure before wheeling you to the operating room. Wrong-patient surgeries, operating on the wrong body part and leaving foreign objects inside a body are some of the most common types of surgical errors that occur in California and across the country.
What to do if you suspect that medical malpractice has caused you injury
You have no way of knowing what’s going on in the room around you while you’re unconscious during spinal surgery. However, you might have noticed something while you were awake that caused you to suspect substandard medical care. If you suffer injury during a spinal surgery, you can request a meeting with a patient advocate right away.
You should not have to bear full financial responsibility for expenses associated with damages caused by medical malpractice. Many patients pursue recourse under the law to seek restitution in court.