Dr. Fangxiang Chen was an agent of Mercy Clinic East Communities.
Dr. Chen allegedly recommended that the plaintiff, Natalie Avilez, 39, undergo a minimally invasive right-sided microdiscectomy at T7-8. A microdiscectomy procedure is a type of minimally invasive discectomy commonly used to treat a herniated disc. When a herniated disc compresses a spinal nerve, symptoms can include pain (which may extend down one or both arms and legs, as is the case in sciatica), muscle weakness and difficulty with repetitive motions.
After the surgery, Avilez learned from Dr. Chen that he had operated on the wrong side of her spine and on the wrong level. The next day, Dr. Chen returned Avilez to surgery during which he performed a T6-7 laminectomy before intraoperative imaging showed he was still at the wrong level. Resulting from these incorrect surgeries, Avilez experienced additional pain and increased anxiety.