Removing discs located in the upper back spine is more difficult than the more common lumbar discectomies.
Duane Cox secured Bell Law Firm to file a medical malpractice action in Fulton County against Atlanta Spine and Harvinder Bhatti, MD. According to the complaint filed in the lawsuit, in February of 2018, Dr. Bhatti performed an unnecessarily risky operation that hurt Duane’s spinal cord and left him with permanent, serious neurological injuries.
Duane first visited Dr. Bhatti to discuss surgery options for a calcified disc in his thoracic spine — the upper back, below the neck. Disc surgeries in that area of the spine are rare. Nonetheless, Dr. Bhatti led Duane to believe he had performed at least 20 thoracic discectomies in the past. Relying on Dr. Bhatti’s assurance about his expertise, Duane agreed to move forward with the surgery.
Removing discs located in the upper back spine is more difficult than the more common lumbar discectomies. Surgeons generally approach an upper-back disc from the front or the sides, rather than from the back. The discs in your spine are in front of your spinal cord. So if a surgeon comes at a disc from the back, the surgical instruments have to go past the spinal cord — creating a serious risk of permanent injury to the spinal cord. Dr. Bhatti took the riskiest approach – from the back. And, according to the complaint, Dr. Bhatti injured Duane Cox’s spinal cord.
In addition to harming Duane’s spinal cord, Dr. Bhatti failed to place a drain at the surgical site that would have prevented a hematoma from forming – another breach of the standard of care. A hematoma formed over the surgical site where it may have contributed to Duane’s injuries, by compressing his spine. Once aware of the hematoma, Dr. Bhatti waited approximately five and a half hours to evacuate the hematoma.
If Duane had not been misinformed and led to believe Dr. Bhatti was more experienced than he actually was, he would have sought out a surgeon qualified to perform a thoracic discectomy, according to the complaint. The lawsuit alleges that Dr. Bhatti acted negligently on multiple counts, and that Duane suffers severe spinal cord damage as a result of that negligence.
Plaintiffs Duane and Sandy Cox seek compensatory damages, as well as damages for medical costs and other damages including physical, economic, and emotional injuries.
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About Bell Law Firm
Bell Law Firm is Georgia’s preeminent firm for victims of medical malpractice. Founded in 1999 by Lloyd Bell, the firm has recovered more than $100 million for patients and families of people injured or killed due to medical negligence. Bell has more than 25 years of experience in federal and state courts, and he has represented clients in more than 75 jury trials and hundreds of successful settlements. Specializing in litigating misdiagnoses, surgical errors, and other types of malpractice, Bell Law firm differentiates itself with deep legal expertise, a mastery of technology in the courtroom, and a compelling manner of storytelling. In 2018, Daily Report, the leading source of legal news in Atlanta, named Bell Law Firm as Personal Injury Litigation Team of the Year.