View Full Version : Concerns over doctors and devices

07-31-2012, 12:26 PM
I just read that Dr. Bart Sachs at the Texas Back Institute was named as a co-conspirator in a wrongful death suit for injecting a patient with "bone paste" which was being used in unapproved and illegal clinical trials in 2003 and 2004. Four of the executives from Synthes, the manufacturer, actually went to prison. My questions is, does anyone know how to do more thorough checks on the doctors and devices planned to be used in our surgery? I looked on-line and did not see any adverse notes about Dr. Sachs and he is listed on the Scoliosis Research Society's list of doctors who specialize in this type of surgery. I am planning to have surgery in November and have my first doctor visit at UCSF at the end of August. I'd like to research the information we discuss and take a close look at my surgeons' background. I've heard the Texas Back Institute is one of the best, and my confidence is shaken at this time. I've not heard anything negative about my doctors, but would like to be thorough in my investigation. Where can we find any adverse information, if there is any, about the facility, the doctor or the materials they plan to implant during my surgery?
Thanks for your help. I read the posts almost daily and have received such a wealth of knowledge about this procedure and what to expect in my own journey. As you all can relate, the nervousness comes and goes, but overall, just reading everyone else's posts has given me the needed information to feel more comfortable with each step toward my big day.
(This article was found in the Philadelphia Inquirer and also the Philadelphia Business Journal. I got it from the American Health Lawyers Association web site. July 31, 2012)
Sharon in Alaska

08-01-2012, 03:01 AM

I just read this article as I have Synthes hardware...Sigh...I donít think it was a scoli procedure....

I can understand why your confidence is shaken and feel the way you do. I was also very upset with Pfizer with the Celebrex and Bextra situation. I took both these NSAIDís years ago. This was extremely serious.

The largest criminal fine ever....

It happened. They broke the law but not everyone breaks the law. I think that these verdicts will send a strong message to the medical community. A little bit of greed is ok, too much is very bad. Its that simple.

All I did was ask my surgeon what was going to be used in my surgeries. Do this eye to eye, and you will get the truth. All the surgeons at UCSF understand that patients knowledge of scoliosis surgery is lacking and strive and encourage knowledge and truth. The integrity is sound. You will see on your visit. I didnít have surgery there, but have been to the scoli meetings and have met all the surgeons. A fantastic group of people, I must say....all of them.

My surgeons did a great job on me. Dr Men-Muir, Dr Halki, Dr Rembetski. I have to say this once in a while you know, just in case they read here. (smiley face)


08-01-2012, 12:43 PM

That's very scary. Unfortunately, pharaceutical companies are in the business of making money and this does happen. They may also be trying to hurry a product to the market that they "believe" to be safe and beneficial. There's a lot of red tape to go through to get anything to the market. There is public outcry for some of these products. Then when they turn out to be bad, the public screams at them. I think it's kind of a lose lose situation. BTW, if what they did had turned out to be some great discovery, they would have been hailed as heroes. It's definitely a tragedy in this case. People should NOT be given anything experimental without their written consent.

I would think with your background that you would have more access to the legal stuff than the ordinary person. I honestly don't know how to check out a surgeon's integrity as it can change. He may have a completely clean background check while he's secretly doing something like what you posted about that doctor from Texas. Sorry if I'm no help here. I just had to put my two cents worth in. It reminds me of "The Fugitive" with Harrison Ford. I guess these things really do happen in real life. =O My sympathies go out to the families of the victims.

my doc would not prescribe a COX2 inhibitor to me when I asked him for one. He said they are too new and he wanted to see the long term effects before he started prescribing them. I'm thankful to him for that.