A different physician can step in for many reasons, not all good..
It's not clear how often such "ghost surgeries" occur, because they are not tracked or studied. But lawsuits provide a glimpse into the allegations of unhappy patients who had bad outcomes, started to look into what went wrong, and learned they were mistaken about which doctor performed the procedure.
Ghost Surgery Legal Definition: "To have another physician operate on one's patient without the patient's knowledge and consent is a deceit. The patient is entitled to choose his own physician and he should be permitted to acquiesce in or refuse to accept the substitution. The surgeon's obligation to the patient requires him to perform the surgical operation: (see more)
"We can go into the operating room, be sedated and have a different person we know nothing about cut into our bodies," said Dr. Julia Hallisy, a dentist who is president of The Empowered Patient Coalition, based in San Francisco. "It's alarming and disconcerting on so many levels, not just from a medical or legal standpoint, but from a trust and ethical standpoint."
1996 Journal of Health Law. Surgery by an Unauthorized Surgeon as a Battery Thomas Lundmark
House Bill 742 Introduced by Honorable Leuis R. Villafuerte Ghost Surgeries.
This practice has become prevalent in many hospitals .. the grave consequences of this unethical practice are addressed in this bill.