DOCTOR PABLO CLAVEL: MY HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE AT BARCELONA SPINE CENTER AND FAILURE OF THE M6 ARTIFICIAL DISC
Views expressed on this site are my own and do not represent the opinions of any other entity whatsoever with which I have been, am now, or will be afflicted. Any action you take up on the opinions on this blog is strictly at your own risk, and I will not be liable for any losses and damages in connection with the use of this site.
If you had a failure with the M6 disc please contact us at:
Update: 2 M6 discs implanted by Dr Pablo Clavel protruding in a young patient’s spinal cord. Dr Clavel ignored the patient !
We received several emails concerning the M6 disc and Dr Clavel. Here is another patient who got his life ruined by the M6 disc and Dr Clavel:
This patient is saying that Dr Clavel told him the implants were perfectly placed but Dr Clavel omitted to tell the patient that the M6 disc has so many flaws. One more time Dr Clavel lied to protect his reputation and the disc maker’s reputation (Orthofix).
DR CLAVEL IMPLANTED CLOSE TO 7000 M6 KNOWING THE DEVICE HAS MANY FLAWS !
I started this page to describe my own experience that I had while I being a patient at Barcelona Spine Center named Instituto Clavel under Dr. Pablo Clavel. Specifically, I want to detail the difficulties and challenges I endured the last two years from what appears to be a failed spine surgery under Dr. Clavel.
I found Dr. Clavel through reputation on some online support groups that previous patients proclaimed he was an experienced and talented spine surgeons known for his expertise in Alternative Disc Replacement (ADR). He was also touted by El Pais as the “world’s best spinal surgeon”. After speaking with other patients who have undergone surgery under Dr. Clavel I decided to get a consultation with Dr. Clavel and proceed with treatment under his care. This is where my nightmare begins.
THE EXPERIENCE AT THE QUIRON HOSPITAL
My experience with Barcelona Spine Center ended up being an ever evolving dreadful experience. I would like to disclaim here I am well aware no surgery is a delightful experience, and particularly an invasive spine surgery and so I don’t believe that my expectations of surgery was out of the norm until I spoke to Dr. Clavel. Before my surgery, I was able to get a consult over skype with Dr. Clavel for ~400Euros. In this 30 minute consult, Dr. Clavel promoted Spinal Kinetic’s M6 disc. He hyped to me that it was the best disc he ever used and that he thought I would be back to work in just 3 months. I thought, well, he appears confident that he can help relieve the unbearable pain I should trust him.
Dr. Clavel’s staff said they had a slot open for me in 2 weeks and that I should arrive the Sunday before my Monday surgery for some pre-op testing. I arrived to the Quiron Hospital in Barcelona at 8 am for my consult in the morning. Dr. Clavel met me in his office for 30 minutes the day of my surgery. We small talked a bit, then without much emotion, sent me on my way to check in to my upstairs hospital room and wait for my surgery to start at 2pm . After checking in, I went downstairs to get some Xrays then sat in my room and anxiously waited for my surgery. I was nervous beyond belief and found no solace in Dr. Clavel’s non-chalant demeanor in those 30 minutes.
The surgery was to start at 2 pm with Dr. Ignasi Catalá Antúnez‘ help, but I don’t think we actually started until 3 or 4 pm. To make a long story short, the entire surgical experience was quite horrifying. They sedated me with anesthesia, and I woke up with excruciating pain and all I recall is the nurses and doctors increasing my dose on the pain pump. The only positive thing I would like to acknowledge is the night nurses on my first night were exceptional and responsive but after that first night, it was all downhill from there and staff and care I received during my stay was subpar. The nurses always appeared annoyed if you asked for something or they took forever to respond when you were in pain or needed to empty the catheter bag. At one point, my wife went to tell a nurse that I was in so much pain, the nurse told her it was lunch hour and I would just have to wait.
Even getting X-rays were a challenge. The technician and nurse assistant forced me to stand up the day after my surgery even though I could not stand at all. There was no nurse call button to help and I was in so much pain and was told to wait hours until someone came to help. It was not until the 3rd day, did Dr. Clavel check on me. I requested him to come by as I still could not stand and was very nervous of the outcome of my surgery. He only sent his residents that stopped in for 30 seconds and only muttered “ok you can stand up today” then they scurried on their way not even asking or evaluating me.
An impossible recovery due to defective implants that Dr Clavel denied
I recall my first consult with Dr. Clavel as was promoting the M6 disc. He told me how great the disc was and how he had not encountered any failure with this device. I also asked about another disc called ESP made in France and Dr Clavel told with confidence that this ESP disc was too stiff. I trusted him as the surgeon and expert.
My recovery during the year after the implantation was erratic. I had to keep telling myself the pain and stiffness would go away and waited for a whole year to get better but I never saw any significant improvement. In fact, right before the year mark I started having some (put in location) pain and Dr Clavel dismissed the pain and told me there were no issues. Dr Clavel insisted I wait for another month and even told me as both M6 implants were not moving that we would wait to see if these 2 level would get fused over the years. Keep in mind that I paid 60 000 euros to get my life back. I always had to wait for weeks or months to talk to Dr Clavel because he was supposedly always busy or on holiday.
After 5 x-rays, 2 MRI, 1 CT scan Dr Clavel did not see that these implants failed. He kept lying until another surgeon pulled these implants out. Dr Clavel tried to save his reputation and also cover Orthofix (the disc maker).
FAILURE FROM DR PABLO CLAVEL AND UPDATE AT 4 MONTHS POST REVISION
Little update: I am 4 months post-op. I had a revision from DR SVANTE BERG at the Stockholm Spine Center. I am still recovering.
I had a failure from 2 broken M6-L implanted by Dr PABLO CLAVEL who refused to admit that both implants failed wanted to leave me with these 2 broken M6 discs. When I had confirmation that these M6 discs were broken right after the revision because Dr Berg managed to pull them out without cutting the core I finally emailed Dr Clavel to let him that he lied to me to protect the disc maker Spinal Kinetics (Orthofix). That was an achievement and Dr Berg was the only one willing and in my opinion, capable of performing the complicated procedure.
For months Dr Clavel kept denying the fact these 2 M6 were ineffective to a point my lumbar was completely felt stuck.
After some persistence with his office that I received ineffective implants, Dr Clavel sent a claim to the insurance and 4 months later, the insurance refused to refund me because the revision was done overseas when Dr Clavel himself told me that it was too risky to remove these M6-L. This is the second time that Dr Clavel has done that. Another revision was done in the US from 2 failed M6-L implanted by Dr Clavel. The person got fused and there was no refund either from Dr Clavel’s insurance. Here is the link of the video:
A trooper who had a previous surgery and failure from Dr Clavel needed a revision in the US.
The NY state Trooper, John Antonelli’s wife contacted us to share her experience with Dr Clavel’s office:
I can confirm that I was treated the same way by Olga, Dr Clavel’s assistant !
Dr Clavel is extremely irresponsible; He also put people’s lives at risk, mislead and procastinate to save his reputation.
BASED ON MY EXPERIENCE DR CLAVEL’S INSURANCE IS A NON-INSURANCE THAT HE IS SELLING TO HIS PATIENTS ! IT DOES NOT PROVIDE ANY GUARANTEE TO GET THE PATIENT’S MONEY BACK IN CASE OF FAILED SURGERY.
Dr Clavel caught lying about the M6 artificial disc making patients take huge risks ! We found a concerning number of failures from Dr Pablo Clavel and other surgeons using the M6 disc.
On the other end I am happy extremely happy Dr BERG performed my revision. The service at the Stockholm Spine Center was beyond what I could have expected. Dr Berg and his staff are extremely skilled.
I really want people to know about the facts because we have to learn from each others experiences.
DR CLAVEL IMPLANTED CLOSE TO 7000 M6 KNOWING THE DEVICE HAS MANY FLAWS
The question is that Doctor Clavel implanted 7000 M6 articial disc but at the same time he agrees that the device has many flaws. After my surgery a lot of potential patients reached out to me and they told me that Dr Clavel said that the M6 was a bad disc. Having 5 M6 (3 on my neck and 2 on my lumbar) I was wondering in the first place if Dr Clavel really said that. I had confirmation because 3 patients who had surgery with Dr Clavel confirmed the facts.
Here is the screenshot of Dr Clavel’s patients who mentioned that Dr Clavel said that the M6 give him a headache and has many flaws:
Patients have a “GUINEA PIG STATUS” for Dr Pablo Clavel
After my surgery I asked Dr Clavel why he started to implant the ESP disc when at the time of my surgery (a month earlier) he told me the ESP was too stiff. Dr Pablo Clavel simply told me that he likes trying different discs on different people. This tells us that Dr Clavel consider patients as an experiment and doesn’t care about the surgery outcome. We will post video of this conversation very soon. Dr Clavel has recently pulled the M6 disc off the Instituto Clavel’s website. Why so many lies and why hiding patients the fact the M6 has so many issues ?
A young woman left in a horrible condition after a surgery performed by Dr Clavel with the M6 disc:
Spinal Kinetics (Orthofix), the disc maker has been nowhere to help patients having failures and misled patients hiding the M6 issues
Dr Clavel was pretty honest with a few patients after implanting 7000 M6 ! How many will break in the next few years ?
Here is an email misleading patients coming from Orthofix (Spinal Kinetics) VP, Clinical Regulatory Affairs who talks about the M6 cervical but what about the M6 Lumbar that has many flaws ?
Here are a few examples of M6 disc failures, disc that Dr Clavel has been promoting for years knowing that the disc has horrible consequences when it fails:
Marco got his life ruined by the M6 disc at ONZ in Germany
Marco had a failure at ONZ in Germany; Dr Thomas Bierstedt has been using the M6 disc for year and had many failures. One more time the M6 felt unstable and ruined Marco’s life. He has no other option other than fusing these 2 levels by a US surgeon because Dr Bierstedt dismissed Marco and refused to recognized the fact that these M6 failed just like Dr Pablo Clavel did it with many of his patients. This fusion failed and Marco might have to go through another surgery to make sure these 2 levels get fused properly.
Marco also contacted Orthofix (Spinal Kinetics) who was very silent and refused to help.
ONZ has been on a tour in the US for the last few years to recruit patients when Dr Bierstedt and Dr Illerhaus have no US medical license. This makes it extremely illegal for these surgeons to meet patients on US land offering medical advice with a device that has never been approved in the US. This event was nothing better than negociating with a car dealership !
This patient had a life threatening situation with 2 M6 disc failing. Surgeons in the US had to stabilize the spine by putting some screws on the back of the spine. Orthofix, the disc maker never responded to the patient.
Here is Marco’s story
ANOTHER FAILURE OF THE M6 DISC AND THE STORY HAS REPEATED ITSELF SO MANY TIMES:
This patient stayed for a year and a half with these broken discs inside his spine.
The same patient after the first revision surgery:
DOCTOR PABLO CLAVEL AND SPINAL KINETICS (CURRENTLY ORTHOFIX) HAD NO PROBLEM IMPLANTING DEFECTIVE M6 DISCS IN PATIENTS AND RUIN LIVES FOR PROFITS ! DR CLAVEL NEVER DISCUSSED THE POTENTIAL RISKS TO PATIENTS. HE REASSURED PATIENTS THAT HE HAD NEVER HAD A FAILURE WITH THE M6 DISC !
We couldn’t post all the failures of the M6 because the list is very long !
These images have been shared with the patients consent.
Trying to Shut Me Down
Since I put this site up detailing my experience with Dr.Clavel, there are certain individuals who are trying to censor my story. It is obvious that some parties are afraid of my experience being widely shared, as this site has been a target of alleged hacking. Even more problematic, I received blackmailed-veiled threats telling “me to take certain content down or else...they will forward private messages to Dr.Clavel that contain content that appear to be contradictory to what I wrote here.”
Dr Clavel used his lawyer to threaten several of his M6 patients to keep his record clean from bad reputation !
Let me pre-empt this all to say I did share openly in the beginning after my surgery I was generally pleased about my Xray and surgery. I even believe I was sincerely and naively thankful at first BUT it was not until after a few months I started to notice the issues I documented here. I eventually became disillusioned with my experience with Barcelona spine center when Dr. Clavel dismissed my concerns 6 mos., 9 mos. post surgery. I share this all now because there will be such texts “leaked ” that are aimed at discrediting me story.
While I was trying to post the note above, a lawyer representing Dr. Clavel has now contacted me via email and tried to take this site down. I am pasting the letter here for transparency. This is the world we live in now, where surgeons are not taking responsibility for ineffective and risky procedures but instead, threatening to suit their patients for trying to speak out. This is a warning to those who are looking to seek such treatment. The Hippocratic Oath “Primum non nocere” (translated First, do not Harm”) taken by doctors appear to be all lost here.
Dr Clavel has been extremely aggressive by complaining to the World Intellectual Organization asking us to take our site down. Here is the email sent to us:
Dr Clavel filing a lawsuit against a patient and calls failure cases “a farce”.
Here is the letter we received from Dr Clavel’s lawyer.