Visitor Question

Question about Duplicate Surgeries…

Submitted By: Charles (Maryland)

A Doctor did a surgery on my back and it was under one day in and out. I had to have a 2nd surgery 4 weeks later for the same thing, but had to stay in the Hospital for almost a week due to loss of blood (6 units). Is there anything I can do to get the cost back for the second surgery? Is this medical malpractice?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Charles,


From the facts you present we are unable to determine if the same surgeon performed both operations. (Today in most medical circles the word “operation” has been substituted by the word “Procedure”.) Undergoing two back surgeries within such a short time is quite unusual, especially for the same medical problem. Back pain and the surgery to alleviate it is a risky enterprise.

It’s not unusual for there to be a second back surgery for the same problem, but with a much longer interval between both. Even with all the modern tools available to surgeons today the recurrence of pain after any one back surgery is a realistic probability.

Certainly you should clearly determine why the surgeries were so close together. If the same surgeon performed both surgeries you should ask her why the second surgery was necessary. If you are not satisfied with her answer you should consider seeking the advice of a skilled and experienced Personal Injury Attorney; especially one who specializes in Medical Malpractice cases.

If there were two different surgeons who performed the surgeries you shouldn’t count on the second surgeon to criticize the work of the first. Most physicians are loathe to criticize their peers.

Not only is there an unwritten “code” between physicians, but they could have more practical reasons. The last thing they want is to get caught up in litigation, having to take time off for depositions, lawyer conferences, and even trials. As a result there is no compelling reason for them to want to “get involved.”

So if there were two different surgeons it will be up to your Attorney to determine through her own expert witnesses the actuality of any possible medical malpractice. Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorneys have access to expert witnesses in many areas of medicine. You can rely on a good Attorney to be able to prepare your case in the most convincing manner.

In either event you would be well-served to seek the advice of a skilled Attorney.

Most will not charge any legal fee for an initial office consultation.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: July 13, 2011

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