People may joke that it happens and some may suspect that it really does, but for one New York woman, being the victim of unnecessary surgeries may be her reality. Forty two year old Kristy Pirozzolo of Long Island filed suit this week in Nassau County against neurosurgeons Thomas Milhorat and Paolo Bolognese claiming that they performed two unnecessary surgeries on her.
The suit seeks 10 million in damages for Pirozzolo for injuries she sustained as a result of the surgeries. Pirozollo’s medical nightmare started in 2003 when she started having fainting spells. A Manhattan brokerage worker at the time, Pirozzolo sought help and underwent separate surgeries in late 2006 for a brain defect (Chiari malformation) and a spinal cord disorder (spinal cord attached to spine) the suit claims she never had. Rather than improve her condition, the surgeries made her situation much worse; she now suffers from extreme back and head pain and limited range of motion.
This is not the first sign of trouble for Milhorat and Bolognese. Until recently, both practiced at the well-respected Chiari Institute operated by North Shore University Hospital and were paid millions of dollars to perform more than 500 surgeries per year. The luster is gone, however. Both doctors were suspended in April because Dr. Bolognese failed to appear for a surgery that was ready to go except there was no surgeon. Dr. Milhorat declined to step in and perform the surgery in Dr. Bolognese’s absence. On May 8th, Dr. Milhorat resigned as the Director of the Chiari Institute and as the Chief of the hospital’s neurosurgery department, but Dr. Bolognese returned to his practice yesterday, the same day Pirozzolo filed her suit.
It appears that other angry patients may be lining up against the doctors but at least for Dr. Bolognese, the pursuit of money does not seem dampened by recent events.
Bret Hanna of Wrona DuBois in Utah, focuses exclusively on litigating plaintiffs’ medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has represented clients in state and federal courts, in mediations, and in administrative proceedings in Michigan and Utah since 1991.