Patients should ask questions, do their homework, and be careful!
The Seattle Times recently did some great work investigating the Swedish Hospital Cherry Hill neurosurgery department and what they found was disturbing. We are linking to the articles here. The Times revealed allegations that a newly arriving surgeon who had gained recognition for his high volume practice, Dr. Johnny Delashaw, and another highly producing surgeon, Dr. Rod Oskouian, have significantly changed the neurosurgery department in ways that place patient safety at risk.
The article describes high-volume procedures by surgeons who get a significant piece of the action. The two surgeons in question made nearly $2 million each in a recent year, which is unusual for neurosurgeons. The article describes treatment for aneurysms in particular. Aneurysms can be treated in two ways. The coil method is the least invasive of the two. The second, the clipping method, is much more invasive and involves removing a piece of skull. The clipping method results in significantly higher income for the hospital and the neurosurgeon. The Times noted a substantial change in the amount of clipping surgeries that were occurring after Dr. Delashaw’s arrival at the department. There were also findings of significant staff turnover and a significant number of complaints by neurosurgeon peers and other peers.
The finding of this investigation have led to the resignation of Swedish CEO Tony Armada.
If you intend to receive treatment at this facility we strongly recommend you read the articles, further investigate the issues, consult with your referring physician, and speak candidly with any neurosurgeon regarding care.