DISSECTION OF VERTEBRAL ARTERY POST DISECTOMY

SUMMARY:

8/21/07-Pt had an anterior cervical discectomy, interbody fusion with instrumentation from the C3-4 level through the C5-6 level performed by the defendant.

During the procedure, which lasted over four hours, MD cut the left vertebral artery at the C5 level necessitating ligation of the left vertebral artery and resulting in an estimated blood loss of 800ml.

Postoperatively, Pt suffered severe “oropharyngeal swelling post ACDF” with respiratory failure, which necessitated a tracheotomy for ventilation purposes, and a gastrostomy tube for nutrition purposes.

She was hospitalized for approx 4 months. During this hospitalization she developed acute renal failure, anemia, cognitive impairment, etc. She was ultimately discharged from Hospital on 11/9/07 with a wheelchair, walker, transfer bench and hospital bed.

EXPERT RESPONSES:

You really should not be so far lateral in the neck that the vertebral artery should be exposed. Is the defendant a recently trained surgeon?

-Dr JM – Neurosurgeon

Sounds like a clear departure.

-Dr MG – Neurosurgeon

Ouch- this sounds problematic!

-Dr DB – Neurosurgeon