Surgeries with High Failure Rates

Certain types of surgery are more prone to failure than others. Failed surgeries can mean worse pain or symptoms than the patient had prior to surgery, it can mean additional surgery will be necessary, and of course added healing time, lost work time, and much greater expense. There are different reasons why a surgery may fail to relieve a problem or condition. These reasons are:

  • Patient did NOT follow the medical/treatment plan laid out for them
  • In the case of joint replacement surgeries and the like, often the body part has worn out because the person overused or abused it. These recipients are likely to try and use the replacement parts in the same hyper manner- and the surgery/intervention will likely fail sooner.
  • Individual patient constitution and/or healing abilities can present an incalculable number of variables to the condition a solution is sought for
  • Physician attempting to treat condition is not knowledgeable or competent
  • Medical components utilized in patient are faulty or prone to failure
  • The technology or approach being used might be popular, but might later be shown to be the wrong solution

Surgeries that have high failure rates:

  • Hiatal hernia which is intended to fix the problem of the stomach protruding out of the diaphragm space into the esophageal area.
  • Hip resurfacing utilizes a metal cup that fits over the ball of the femur. This fits into another metal cup that lines the cavity of the acetabulum the femoral head fits into to form the hip socket joint. Even though this surgery was first hailed as better than the surgery it replaced where more of the femur was compromised, the metal components used fail. Hip and knee joint surgeries are plagued with replacement part failures.
  • Grafts involve replacing patches of skin with treated cadaver tissues. Organ transplants involve utilizing tissues from donors as well. Both types of treatment experience high rates of failure as the individual’s immune system often recognizes that the tissues are foreign. When the body begins marking tissues as non-self (as in graft vs. host rejection and in autoimmune disease), this is almost always a non reversible process. Drugs are utilized to suppress immune responses, but leaves the patient open to a host of problems such as infection and many side effects.
  • Disc surgeries of the spine have a failure rate greater than 50%. 10% of patients experience a worsening of symptoms after surgical intervention. This type of surgery was being performed prior to advances in immunological study which is revealing that surgery opens the discs to more attack by immune responses, which is the cause of the pain in the first place. A mechanical “fix” is being attempted for a chemical problem.

Some precautionary measures that one can take to help eliminate the possibility of failed
surgeries are:

  • Always exhaust all less invasive options before opting for surgery
  • Seek out surgeons that are the most experienced in their field and at the particular treatment to be done. Don’t be afraid to ask them about their success rates for the surgery in question.
  • Follow the medical instructions and treatment plans that are outlined. Do not vary from them.
  • Being the first to own a new electrical gadget might be important to some. In the field of medicine and surgery, being among the first recipients of a particular new procedure might be a horrible idea. For “new” procedures and parts, if one has the luxury of waiting a few years to see how these medical breakthroughs hold up- this could potentially save a lot of pain and expense. Make sure there are studies accurately representing how well recipients of particular parts and procedures are doing a few years after the procedure. Many of today’s medical miracles are seen as a disaster only a few months later. Don’t be a volunteer/victim for untested and unproven procedures

If you or a loved one experienced a worsening of a condition or death due to a failed surgery, or surgical part, you may be eligible for damages. Call the experts at the Sweeney Law Firm and let us review the facts. You may have a medical malpractice case. If we take your case, there is no fee for representation. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless there is a settlement or a recovery of funds made on your behalf.