Laser Spine Surgery Centers: Are They A Scam?

laser surgery ppc.jpgLaser spine surgery centers. You’ve probably seen their pay-per-click ads on google (they advertise a lot through pay-per-click). Do they offer a new, better kind of therapy or is it all snake oil?
According to a recent Bloomberg news story, the surgeries at laser spine surgery centers are more expensive and less safe than traditional spinal surgeries. “[Laser spine surgery] strikes me as somewhat of a scam,” says Jeffrey Arle, a Lahey Clinic neurosurgeon. Arle and other surgeons believe that laser surgery simply offers the same surgeries performed with a different modality, and at a substantial mark-up. Laser spine surgeries often cost twice what traditional spine surgeries cost.
All of this would be fine – it would merely be luxury-branded spinal surgery – if it weren’t for the fact that many laser spine surgeries are unnecessary and the incidence of medical malpractice in laser spinal surgeries so frighteningly high. The number of medical malpractice claims at laser surgery centers is several times the rate at other types of surgery centers.
And many claim that the kind of aggressive marketing of laser spine surgery centers that you see on the web carries over into the operating room – with the surgery being sold to people who don’t need it. At some laser surgery centers, so-called “patient coordinators” are offered bonuses and other incentives – such as trips to the Bahamas – based on the number of surgeries “booked or sold.”
If you’re considering laser spine surgery, maybe you should get a second opinion.

This blog in maintained by the Boston medical malpractice lawyers at The Law Office of Alan H. Crede, P.C.