A surgeon can be sued for failing to perform surgery properly, as this failure can lead to further medical problems or a continuance of the same medical problem. Another problem that can occur with surgery is when a surgeon performs surgery that the patient does not need.

What Is Unnecessary Surgery?

Unnecessary surgery is any surgical procedure that a surgeon performs on a patient that the patient does not want or need. The procedure does not treat an injury or improve the individual’s life in any way. There are many kinds of unnecessary surgery. Surgery can be unnecessary because it was mostly cosmetic, or because it was a controversial procedure that hadn’t yet been proven to be effective for a given condition.

Examples of unnecessary surgery include gastric bypass surgery, surgery for heartburn, and plastic surgery procedures intended to primarily affect a person’s cosmetic appearance only. If a person who has had an unnecessary surgery experiences injury, harm, or death, the doctor, surgeon, or medical practitioner may be responsible and will have to pay damages if medical malpractice can be proven.

Is Unnecessary Surgery the Same as a Surgical Error?

Not necessarily. "Surgical error" is a broad term for mistakes made during a surgical procedure. An unnecessary surgery is merely one type of surgical error that may be done during the course of surgery.

What Are Some Common Unnecessary Surgeries?

The most common unnecessary surgery are:

  • Gastric bypass
  • Pacemaker implants
  • Hysterectomy
  • Irritable bowel syndrome surgery
  • Surgery for heartburn
  • Caesarian section
  • Coronary bypass surgery

Is Unnecessary Surgery Medical Malpractice?

The unnecessary surgery may be a form of medical malpractice, depending on the circumstances. Medical malpractice is a specific injury in which a medical professional, such as a surgeon or a doctor, harms a patient by providing them with substandard medical care. This substandard care can take the form of failing to perform the correct type of surgery or surgery in the correct place, both of which would result in unnecessary surgery.

Can I File a Claim?

Medical malpractice is not easy to prove for a number a reasons. The claim must be built first on the idea of duty to care and a breach of that duty. A plaintiff must be able to definitively prove that a doctor or agent of medical care breached that duty and caused harm, injury or death as a result. Many medical conditions can be caused by a number of factors. That makes it much harder to prove that the medical practitioner was the sole cause of harm.

It is possible to split the responsibility with the medical practitioner through comparative negligence and contributory negligence. Both of these legal defenses incorporate the idea that a patient assumes some of the risks of a surgery, because some risk is involved in any surgical procedure.

In the case of unnecessary surgery, a plaintiff’s case will be stronger if they can prove that they were pressured or influenced by the doctor into undergoing the unnecessary surgery.

How Can I Prove Medical Negligence?

A plaintiff must prove four elements to win a medical negligence claim:

  • The physician owed a duty to the plaintiff to provide them with adequate medical care
  • That duty was violated
  • The breach caused the plaintiff’s injuries
  • The plaintiff has damages such as addition medical bills and lost wages

Do I Need to Talk to a Lawyer?

An unnecessary surgery can result in serious injury. If you need help bringing a lawsuit for your unnecessary surgery, contact a personal injury lawyer.