UPDATE: Dr. Makker finally surrenders license

Vishal James Makker -- LIMELIGHT VIDEO
Vishal James Makker — LIMELIGHT VIDEO

Surgeon’s bloody trail finally comes to an end.

With the revocation of his medical license a virtual certainty, neurosurgeon V. James Makker has finally surrendered his license.

Dr. Makker, 42, has been the target this year of some 30 malpractice lawsuits, and of an investigation by the Oregon Medical Board. A Wall Street Journal article in March, 2011, noted that Makker performed multiple spinal fusion surgeries at a rate 10 times the national average. In some cases, Makker performed eight, 10, or even 12 spinal surgeries on the same patient.

The Journal noted that a disproportionate number of the repeat surgeries were billed to Washington’s version of workers’ compensation, which pays more money per surgery than other insurance plans.

The latest Board investigation of Makker follows on the heels of a 2006 Board investigation, in which Makker was accused of performing “unnecessary surgeries,” and “gross or repeated negligence.” The Board let Makker off with the promise to get more training.

This case follows a consistent pattern, both for the Oregon Medical Board and the medical boards of other states, in which doctors who have left a trail of crippled lives in their wake were allowed to waltz away with a slap on the wrist.

Who will investigate Providence Hospital, which managed to look the other way while Makker’s stream of botched and repeated surgeries showered the hospital with undeserved riches? Kafoury & McDougal have one of the pending malpractice cases; nearly all the others have settled. We will keep you posted.

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