Sunday, July 09, 2006


The "Ooops" Surgery No One Wants...

This week's edition of Outpatient Surgery E-Weekly provides another insight into the wonderful world of surgery (and why you should RUN from any kind of non-essential surgery): In Florida, a West Palm Beach surgeon who specializes in vascular work (veins/arteries/circulation) has been fined a whopping total of $8500 and has to undergo five whole hours of training'll never guess...doing a varicose vein treatment that ended up in his 53-year-old female patient LOSING HER LEG.

Turns out the doctor, who was supposed to be removing varicose veins from his patient's legs, mistook the femoral artery (the one that delivers healthy blood to the leg) as a vein (the one that returns blood to the heart) and removed it instead....and without a supply of blood, the patient's leg eventuallyhad to be amputated. Of course, she had to go to ANOTHER doctor to get that diagnosed and treated....after complaining of no blood flow to the leg, trauma to the artery and gangrene of the left foot. The second doctor removed part of her left leg, while the original varicose vein surgeon was chastised by the Florida Board of Medicine for not identifying the right blood vessel, removing part of the wrong one and not administering anticoagulants (drugs that help blood clot) when he tried to reconstruct/bypass the damaged artery.

RUN! Unless you're dying or bleeding or suffering a massive heart attack or in desperate need of surgery, try to think of anything "elective" as just that...something you can ELECT to turn down to avoid risks like these!

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