Spinal Surgery is like any other form of surgery at risk for unwanted or unexpected results. Even with MISS, which has its own risks for complications our patients need to be instructed very well to avoid unhappy patients or even worse litigation. In this presentation I will present the general and specific risks and complications in spinal surgery and how to try to avoid complications, or when present how deal with them.
Patients are more and more filing complaints or go to go court if the result is not what they hoped for. The difference between an effort commitment and best effort is not always known and should be explained upfront. Every country has different ways how to deal with complications and medical errors. I will talk about the Belgian approach.
Openness and honesty is usually the best approach: tell the patient that some part of the surgery did not go as planned, try to be clear and do not hide any part. In my experience patients are more forgiving when their physician is honest and open. When they suspect something went wrong or things are hidden; patient lose their faith and trust and it lowers the barriers to file a complaint.