After a diagnostic MRI scan, the surgeon, referred to as Dr C, advised the patient she needed a herniated disc removed – called discectomy surgery – at level 4/5 of her spine.

During the operation, Dr C found a “large amount” of scar tissue, and identified the level of the spine on which to operate using an X-ray image intensifier – standard procedure, according to the Health and Disability Commission decision.  But a follow-up MRI in June showed the surgeon appeared to have operated on discs at spinal level 3/4, not level 4/5.  The doctor never told the patient about the mistake. After a second orthopaedic surgeon reviewed the scan, it was discovered that Dr C had operated on the wrong level.  You can find more details about this nightmware here.

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