A New York neurosurgeon who specializes in surgery to correct Chiari malformations was recently sued by three of his former patients for medical malpractice, adding to the more than twenty times he has been sued for medical malpractice over the course of his professional career. All three of the most recent New York medical malpractice cases filed against the neurosurgeon were filed in late October 2016 in Queens County court.
One of the three neurosurgery malpractice cases was filed by a 55-year-old woman who was diagnosed with Chiari malformation for which the defendant neurosurgeon recommended surgery. She had the surgery two years ago and she never recovered from her surgery, including being in constant extreme pain. The woman’s New York medical malpractice lawsuit alleges that the defendant neurosurgeon improperly placed hardware in her cervical spine that causes her to be unable to move her neck, and that he improperly dissected muscles in her neck.
The other two women who filed their medical malpractice lawsuits against the neurosurgeon are a 24-year-old woman who alleges that her Chiari malformation surgery left her with swallowing difficulties, sleeping problems, leg pain, an impaired bladder, and a fast heartbeat, and a 29-year-old woman who alleges in her medical malpractice lawsuit that she has been bedridden most days since the defendant neurosurgeon performed Chiari malformation surgery on her.
All three recent New York medical malpractice lawsuits filed against the defendant neurosurgeon allege that he performed unnecessary surgery and/or breached the standard of care in their treatment that left them in worse condition than when they initially consulted with the neurosurgeon.
It has been reported that in 2010, the defendant neurosurgeon was suspended from North Shore University Hospital’s Chiari Institute, which he had co-founded, for allegedly failing to show up for surgery on time for a patient who had already been anesthetized.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Chiari malformations are structural defects in the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls balance. Normally the cerebellum and parts of the brain stem sit in an indented space at the lower rear of the skull, above the foramen magnum (a funnel-like opening to the spinal canal). When part of the cerebellum is located below the foramen magnum, it is called a Chiari malformation.
Chiari malformation may develop when the bony space is smaller than normal, causing the cerebellum and brain stem to be pushed downward into the foramen magnum and into the upper spinal canal. The resulting pressure on the cerebellum and brain stem may affect functions controlled by these areas and block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid to and from the brain.
Individuals with Chiari malformation may complain of neck pain, balance problems, muscle weakness, numbness or other abnormal feelings in the arms or legs, dizziness, vision problems, difficulty swallowing, ringing or buzzing in the ears, hearing loss, vomiting, insomnia, depression, or headache made worse by coughing or straining. Hand coordination and fine motor skills may be affected. Symptoms may change for some individuals, depending on the buildup of cerebrospinal fluid and resulting pressure on the tissues and nerves.
If you or a loved one may have been injured as a result of surgical malpractice in the United States, you should promptly consult with a local medical malpractice attorney in your U.S. state who may investigate your surgery malpractice claim for you and file a medical malpractice case on your behalf, if appropriate.
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