International patients have no legal protection in Germany when complications arise.

Patients having complications are on their own once they leave Germany. And doctors know this fact well. Post op support is nonexistent. The same doctor that was readily available for the initial assessment and very quick diagnostic, is then nowhere to be found or too busy to answer calls, return messages or reply to emails. All this happened to me with Dr. Thomas Bierstedt from ONZ SPINE in Germany.

17 thoughts on “International patients have no legal protection in Germany when complications arise.

  1. I’m really sorry you had such a bad outcome. I found your site b/c I too had a negative result after getting ADR by Dr Illherhaus at ONZ August 2020. There is almost nowhere to let the public know about bad outcomes, so it’s nice you took this initiative.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I Am sorry you had a negative experience too. Unfortunately there is no legal protection for international patients. I will continue denouncing them. Dr. Biertedt caused me irreversible damage and I am still dealing with the consequences of his botched surgery. I am having another abdominal repair in a few days due to the mishandling on his anterior approach.

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      1. My condition was severely altered facet at one of the two levels. Increased instability and bony defects. Four previous surgeries. I had lumbar pain and radiating pain to leg. What went wrong? Dr. Bierstedt over distracted the vertebrae to force in the wrong size and angle artificial discs and caused irreversible damage to nerves. Discs failed. I have now an scoliosis I didn’t have before. They refused to do proper standard of care when I voiced the issues I was having and dismissed me. The condition of my lumbar spine was bad enough to determine I was not a good candidate for ADR and still he did it. After that failure I needed two revisions and multiple hernia repairs as they damaged my abdominal wall during the anterior approach surgery. I have one more surgery soon. I am worst than before i went to ONZ for surgery. They are a fraud and with their hack surgery procedures they have injured many patients now. It is not just me. I don’t understand how they are still operating and recruiting potential patients. It seems their propaganda is still working efficiently in Canada. Please do your research and ask for second opinions. They ruined my life and they did it without any care and knowing international patients with surgery complications are not able to sue them. In my opinion they are criminals and a fraud.

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    2. Hi Diana,
      I am considering surgery there. What spinal condition did you have prior to surgery? What did surgery did they perform? What is your condition now?

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  2. My brother and I both had surgery with Dr. Bierstedt. He seemed gentle and kind. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t try to help you. This part just doesn’t make sense to me. ONZ had a USA patient returned for a revision in the week before me. I was sorry to read your story.

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    1. It doesn’t make sense to me either. They just said “it is normal “ “you are safe”. It wasn’t normal and I wasn’t safe. They put the wrong Artificial disc and that caused me irreversible damage. Then they just ignored my requests for support post-op and didn’t offer any solution at all. They were very gentle and kind of course and also very quick to respond when they were courting me as a potential patient. There are many other patients recently that have been injured by them. I am glad you and your brother had good outcomes. It happens. Every case is different. But leaving a patient on his own while having serious complications is utterly unethical and negligent. I am in worse condition than before going to them for surgery.

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    2. Hello George,
      I am seriously considering Transforminal Lumbar Interbody fusion (TLIF) anterior using ROI-A cage with posterior pedicabs for added stability. Perhaps more distraction required than your surgery as my L5 is 10mm slippage over S1.. I’m concerned that ADRNot4All may be accurately describing the outcomes of more complex surgeries, requiring distraction to align vertebrae as will mine.
      What is your overall impression of your experience with Dr Brierstadt? Was he truly compassionate, capable and honest?
      Perhaps an unfair question to ask but I’m desperately in pain and need surgery and
      am feeling less confident when reading about ADRNot4All’s outcome.
      Please respond, just looking for another viewpoint.

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  3. You hit the nail on the head when you said that post-op support is non-existent. It is so true that ONZ, the surgeons and Malte Peterson are ready available and quick to respond for initial assessment and plan of action (proposed surgery), but once they have your money and the surgery is done, you are on your own. That can be said for not just our return home to Canada but while in the hospital for recovery while still there. We expected to be well taken care of after our surgery and there in fact was no standard of care. My husband had many complications after surgery and we felt totally abandoned there and here now that we’re home. Although from what we know so far, the surgery was a success (it may be too soon to tell, nothing else about the process including after care and follow-up were acceptable. I wrote a letter to Malte Peterson advising him of all the issues and never heard back from him. When I followed up with him, I got an email that said that yes they understood my husband went through rough times after a very invasive reconstructive surgery and that was it. There seems to be no accountability on their part and it seems that it’s all about the money and they don’t really care about their patients. Rehabilitation was a total waste of time and I believe it actually set my husband back. You can’t use a cookie cutter approach when it comes to these things as every circumstance and patient are different. My husband had an L1 to L5 fusion and they expected him to be in rehabilitation 11 days later. He was weak, exhausted and in severe pain and that only made things worse. We were there with other Canadian patients who share the same views as we do. They have had complications since the surgery and have been offered no support even when they’ve asked for it. I could go on and on, but I agree that people need to be well informed before they spend the money and put their fate in the hands of ONZ.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Shelly,
      First of all I wish your husband a great recovery and healing. Now on the ONZ issues, the number of patients having complications has increased over the years. Unfortunately not everybody reports them, for many particular reasons. I don’t understand how their lack of a standard of care has not caught the attention of regulatory agencies and government. Just that empowers them to continue profiting from the pain of others that went to them looking for a solution to spine problems. ONZ continues to heavily market their production line surgeries in Canada and therefore they continue to irreversible damage patient lives. Malte Peterson is an arrogant and unprincipled individual who doesn’t care at all about patient outcomes. For them at ONZ, we the patients are just a mean for them to profit from. The quick answers and prompt action happens only when they are “assessing” the patient. Post-op they will find any possible excuse to be unavailable or to demean and diminish genuine concerns patients have when experiencing complications. The German government and the European Union regulatory agencies don’t care either about patient outcomes as they are doing nothing to investigate the genuine complaints. It seems a complicit and irresponsible attitude. They should by law and decency act on behalf of injured patients. They should investigate and stop those hack surgeons caring only for money and ruining patient’s lives.

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      1. Hello ADRNot4All.
        I am considering surgery at ONZ for DDD and spondylolisthesis stage 2. I am at this point completely neutral in my search for patient information. My question is, you state that the incidences of complications has increased over the years but also state that not all patients report them. I am wondering how you got that information if not all patients are reporting complications.
        Since reading your remarks on ONZ I have need to do more research. If the complication rate is increasing, is it because the surgery numbers are also increasing but the complication percentage is the same or lower or higher?

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      2. Hello, many patients have contacted me personally and a few have posted comments here and other websites. Ironically I don’t need more evidence. My limitations,the complications, the multiple surgeries six in total after the wrongful ADR and one more coming in three weeks are for me more than enough to prove they were wrong. They were wrong not only on the lack of support and post op care, they were wrong on doing an ADR on my spine that had severe changes and increased instability. All, for the sake of money. Everybody is free of choosing them of course and from my heart I wish you the best, but there are many other options available, without the questionable and proven track record of wrongdoings and lack of standard of care. I wish you all the best.

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      3. Hello ADRNot4All,
        Thanks for responding. I’ve been reading blogs and looking for the other options you may be referring to. I live in Canada and options are limited. Surgeries are delayed, techniques are old and come with little or no guarantees for outcome.
        It pains me to know that you are still having surgeries to correct your ONZ surgery.
        Like you, I was looking to ONZ for the successful surgery that would give me my life back.
        Can you point me in the direction of the other options you refer to?

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      4. Thank you and once again, I agree with you 100 percent on everything you’ve said. Wishing you the very best as well. I would really like to get the word out there to the masses, just not sure how I would go about doing that.

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  4. Hello ADRNot4All:

    I am looking for patients that have had surgery by Dr. Bierstadt using minimally invasive anterior approach, ROI-A cage and posterior screws and rods for Spondylolisthesis stage 2. I am curious about the distraction pain post surgery and the impact on the spinal column above over the next 5 years or so.
    Any patients reporting info regarding that surgery?

    Like

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