Minimally Invasive Surgery Increases Death Risk

Is it Time to Rethink Minimally Invasive Surgery for Cervical Cancer?

We all know people who have been affected by cancer. Treatments, ranging from chemotherapy to radiation, to surgery, have their fair share of side effects that can make cancer especially burdensome. When someone finds a way to treat cancer with minimal side effects, it is no surprise that patients and doctors might quickly endorse such treatment.

Unfortunately, “easy” fixes are not always the best kind. In recent years, surgeons have found ways to perform procedures that are not as invasive as traditional surgeries. Robotic arms and tools are used in such procedures to enter the body through small incisions to remove tumors, growths, and organs without exposing large sections of the body.

In many areas of medicine, this type of surgery has been a blessing, but minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has had its share of critics and has evoked concerns. In 2000 when the Food and Drug Administration gave premarket certification to the Intuitive Surgical Da Vinci robotic system, there was concern about its efficacy in the treatment of cancer.

Canadian Researchers Find MIS Increases Risk of Death for Some Cervical Cancer Patients When Compared with Traditional Surgery

Canadian researchers have published some bad news for cervical cancer patients treated with MIS. The study published online July 6, 2019, in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology echoes the findings of two previously published studies.

Researchers reviewed nearly 1000 patients who had early-stage cervical cancer. They found that those who underwent MIS had twice the rate of death and cancer reoccurrence than those who had radical hysterectomies.

These studies “have shown rather convincingly — and I would say definitively — that these minimally invasive procedures should not be performed, except under perhaps extraordinary circumstances where there is a serious risk for the patient associated with the standard approach,” said Maurie Markman, MD, from Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia.

What are the Alleged Benefits of MIS?

Because MIS is done robotically, it requires only small incisions. Small incisions mean less pain, fewer complications, a shorter stay in the hospital, and a faster recovery for patients.
This approach, according to critics of MIS, benefits hospitals and insurance companies as much as the patients. According to the most recent research; however, cervical cancer patients are suffering.

Despite the controversy over MIS, its use in the treatment of cervical cancer is approximately 50% Data shows that in Ontario, MIS climbed from nearly 5% “of all hysterectomies in 2006 to 65% in 2017.”

Cause for Concern over Using MIS to Treat Cervical Cancer

The Food and Drug Administration, along with physicians, are expressing concern that MIS should not be the first line of treatment for cervical cancer surgery. Amanda Fader, MD, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, states that although MIS might benefit some specific subgroups of patients, surgeons should “proceed with caution and to counsel their patients about these findings so that women are aware that there is a higher risk of recurrence with minimally invasive surgery than with open radical hysterectomy.”

Contact Our MIS Lawyers Today

Contact our MIS lawyers for help if you have concerns about the treatment you received for your cervical cancer. You can reach Alonso Krangle, LLP at 800-403-6191. Call today!



Lawsuit Against VA Hospital for Malpractice

Veteran Sues Government For $4 Million: Alleges Malpractice by Northport VA Hospital

All doctors, nurses, and medical professionals owe a duty of care to their patients. In addition to the oaths they take to treat people, there are legal obligations. The law requires that medical professionals, including people who own and operate medical facilities, take reasonable care of their patients. They must do what a reasonable person would do in the same or similar circumstances. Precisely what conduct is reasonable, can differ in various situations.

When a healthcare professional who owes a duty of care, breaches the duty, and injuries occur, a malpractice case may result. The victim must prove that if the doctor were not negligent, he or she would not have had the injuries. If the outcome would have been the same, there is no case. Recently, a local veteran of the armed forces filed a big lawsuit against the government for malpractice that occurred at a nearby VA hospital.

Attack on Veteran Caused Lifelong Injuries that Led him to Seek Treatment From Northport VA

Gary Zambito had to leave military service at the age of 20 when he was beaten into unconsciousness by a group of anti-war demonstrators. After the attack in 1970, he suffered for 50 years from related health problems including high blood pressure, fainting episodes, and heart issues. According to the New York Daily News, which reviewed his court documents, Zambito pursued a cardiology referral at the Northport VA Hospital in 2015 after his fainting spells became more frequent and “ended in blackouts.” Zambito told the Daily News he could not, at that time, afford the cost of private health care.

Benjamin Pomerance, a deputy director of the New York VA liaison office told the Daily News,

“What Mr. Zambito got instead from Northport VAMC was lies, broken promises, negligence, misconduct, further physical injuries, extraordinary mental strain and exhaustion, a set of multiple falsified medical records, an attending urologist whom Mr. Zambito simply cannot trust any longer.”

Veteran Claims Hospital Failed to Diagnose Cancer and More

Zambito has sued the government for 4 million dollars in damages. He alleges that the VA and its doctors committed malpractice and negligence by failing to diagnose him with kidney cancer when they should have been able to. He alleges that the hospital also failed to treat him for a heart problem that was causing fainting spells. While the case is pending, the Daily News claims that the attorney general has begun a criminal investigation into the “malfeasance” of the clinic.

Zambito claims that he suffered from 18 fainting spells which caused injuries to his eyes, hands, and knees. He alleges that no one connected the fainting spells to the heart problems he told the doctors about, despite his suggestions that they were. After three years, Zambito went to a private doctor who made the correct diagnosis and put him on medication that immediately cured the fainting.

Veteran Says Malpractice Resulted in Serious Injuries that Would Not Have Occurred with Reasonable Care

As Zambito said, “If they had given me that medication 14 months earlier, I would never have had those 18 (fainting spells) and never have suffered my five permanently disabling injuries, which are all service-related because they were caused by the attack on the naval facility.”

It will be interesting to see how the court interprets the facts in this case and what the Attorney General finds during the investigation. Is the standard for all doctors and hospitals the same? Does the VA have a lower standard of care? Can a hospital or doctor’s actions be so negligent as to be criminal in nature?

Contact Us If You are the Victim of Malpractice

Call Alonso Krangle, LLP and speak with our personal injury attorneys if you have received negligent medical care at the VA or any other hospital. We can provide a free evaluation of your medical malpractice case.

Jury Awards $110 Million For Malpractice

Bronx Woman Wins Over 100 Million Dollars in Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

The New York Daily News has reported that in a Bronx Supreme Court medical malpractice case, a jury awarded 110 million dollars to Keimoneia Reddish, a 48-year-old mother of 5 who was permanently disabled following an asthma attack in 2010.

Reddish sued St. Barnabas Hospital and several doctors after she suffered a massive brain injury caused by an asthma attack. She claimed, and the jury believed, that the hospital and doctors acted negligently when they “failed to consider” transferring to a hospital that could provide her with the proper care needed to alleviate the swelling in her brain. She has been left with “crippling and life-long speech and motor deficits.”

Reddish remained in the hospital or a nursing home for nearly a year following her brain injury. Reddish’s lawsuit centered around her care team’s failure to move her to a nearby facility that has equipment that would have helped to alleviate the swelling in her brain, thereby relieving some of her symptoms and injuries. The technology called ECMO, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, was, according to Reddish’s lawyer, readily “available to remove the excessive carbon dioxide in her brain and prevent an injury.”

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a health care facility or hospital is negligent, and the negligence causes an injury to the patient. Several things must be present to prove malpractice.

  1. There must be a duty of care owed to the victim. Doctors and hospitals owe their patients a duty to care for them in a way that meets the standards set by the medical community or other caregivers in a similar situation. The standard is often one that is “reasonable” as it relates to the particular circumstances.
  2. There must be a breach of the duty. The doctors or hospital must act or fail to act in a way that meets the standard.
  3. The breach must cause injuries to the person to whom the duty is owed.

In Reddish’s case, the facts as presented to the jury, let to their conclusion that the hospital and doctors failed to act in a reasonable manner when they did not consider moving her to a facility more qualified to treat her condition. Doing so, Reddish’s attorney convinced the jury, would have prevented or eased her injuries. Reddish now lives her life in a wheelchair with slurred speech and “profound motor disabilities.” Her partner of 26 years provides her with full-time care.

Contact Alonso Krangle, LLP If You Are the Victim of Malpractice.

Call us for a free evaluation of your medical malpractice claim at 516-350-5555. Find out if you are entitled to collect compensation for your injuries caused by the negligence of a medical professional.