Merriam-Webster, a trusted source of definitions since 1828, gives the term ghost surgery, one clear and simple definition.
What Does a Ghost Surgery Look Like?
To see actual pictures of what a ghost surgery looks like or the consequences that one can turn into, visit our tab, Jack's story. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see a fraction. A snapshot. Of what our disabled, nonverbal son went through. Those pictures of him...that's what a ghost surgery can look like.
What Constitutes a Ghost Surgery?
The term "ghost" implies two things...you don't see it and if it doesn't go well, it's going to haunt you forever. In the case of a ghost surgery, you're put to sleep calmly, feeling assured and confident about the surgeon you've chosen, hired and consulted with. However, your agreed upon surgeon doesn't perform the surgery at all. Instead, it's performed by a doctor you've likely never met (and in most cases, is a resident or fellow). You can learn more about "residents" and "fellows" under the tab, "Stages of a Surgeon."
What Isn't a Ghost Surgery? In order for it to be a true ghost surgery, the surgeon you choose and consulted with never performs ANY part of your surgery. The surgeon you hired never touches you. He/she could be performing another surgery in a different operating room or even typing up operative notes from a different surgery just finished. But there's so much more you need to know to effectively understand vital information that has for some reason, never been publicized or circulated (to our knowledge) at a public, nationalized level.
We don't know why it took an elementary teacher (myself) and a software analyst (my husband), to be the ones to try and correct a NATIONAL misconception help by most public citizens. Maybe it was kismet, the stars holding it secret until the infamous year of 2020, but for whatever the reason, the time to clear up this misconception, NATIONALLY, is now.
Currently, most people think what we thought... during a surgery at a teaching hospital, residents and fellows observe and help but only under the direct eye of the surgeon you hired. Up until months ago, we believed attending surgeons were with their patients from the start of a surgery to the finish. We are here to share, this is a misconception that most people have in the general public and in some cases not only isn't the attending there from start to finish, in some cases, they've found legal loopholes to not step in the room until the end.
If you're having surgery at a teaching hospital, you need to understand your surgeon likely won't be present from start to finish, but only HAS to be present during the critical part. Take a deep breath if this is new to you. Remember...knowledge is power and we have the information you need on this website to help you understand why and how this happens. The reality is that in most cases, everything works out fine but we still believe not given the names of the surgeons, in writing an prior to surgery, is a violation of our civil rights. Regardless of our beliefs, current requirements at the federal level don't agree. We believe they are loose, too loose, when it comes to requirements and documentation to ensure rules are followed and that patients are informed. See page "Rally for Change" to see how you can help make important changes in all of our hospitals, both teaching and private hospitals alike.
We Wished We'd Known
If we'd known then, what we know now, our son never would have become a victim.
We hope and firmly believe that once the majority of citizens understand that current guidelines from the federal government create loopholes that every hospital (link) can find loopholes to wiggle through, not just teaching hospitals. We believe that because of Jack and our courage to go public, change will come. But that change can only come if people read the requirements, learn the loopholes, follow our advice and then rally for change. It won't come if people blindly sign electronic pads, are afraid or embarrassed to ask to read a paper copy of something before they sign, or if they don't know the right questions to ask prior to surgery so you can be more assured you don't become victimized.
How Can You Keep From Becoming A Victim?
Read our website, moving from one tab to the next. They go in sequential order. If you don't have time or a desire to read through all the tabs, you have two choices...visit our "Brief Overview" page or go to the tab titled "Printable Materials." In the near future we'll have a comprehensive guide you can print and take with you to surgery. We're working to finish this guide as soon as possible.
Ghost Surgeries, LLC. PO BOX 908 Milford, OH, 45150