Americans frequently undergo unnecessary surgeries
Tens of thousands of patients annually submit to costly operations that could easily be avoided.
America's broken health care system means patients often need to be both educated and skeptical when it comes to costly, complicated and potentially life-altering medical procedures. That reality was recently underscored by a new USA Today report showing that tens of thousands of people in the U.S. annually undergo surgery that isn't necessary.
The newspaper reviewed government records and medical databases and found that unnecessary medical procedures might make up anywhere from 10% to 20% of all surgeries in some specialties.
It also cited data and research compiled by the Choosing Wisely Campaign, an organization led by the American Board of Internal Medicine and Consumer Reports, outlining some unsettling statistics regarding eight common surgical procedures.
Here are some findings:
12% of all angioplasty procedures, which often include the insertion of stents, weren't medically necessary.
In 22.5% of cases in which a cardiac pacemaker/implantable cardioverter-defibrillator was installed, no evidence supported that decision.
In 17% of cases in which patients were told they needed back surgery/spinal fusion, no neurological or radiographic findings indicated such an operation was necessary.
Among patients told they needed total knee replacement surgery, 38% who received information about joint replacements and alternative treatments decided against the procedure.
Similarly, 26% of patients who received additional information about hip replacements decided against them.
In 43% of colonoscopies, no clinical indication showed a need for the procedure.
A study from earlier this year, looking at data from nearly 600 hospitals nationwide, found the rate of cesarean section deliveries varied tenfold across those hospitals -- from just more than 7% of all births to nearly 70%.
70% of hysterectomies were inappropriately recommended, "often because doctors didn't attempt treatment with non-surgical procedures."
USA Today broke down these unnecessary surgeries into three groups: the immoral, the incompetent and the indifferent.
Some patients, it says, fall victim to predatory doctors who defraud the insurance industry by performing operations that aren't medically justified. But a larger number of people, it adds, "turn to doctors who simply lack the competence or training to recognize when a surgical procedure can be avoided."
Experts and patients alike say questioning a doctor's decision to operate -- by researching the suggested procedure, asking for nonsurgical options and getting a second opinion -- can help reduce the number of unnecessary surgeries.
"We expect the physician to know what's best for a patient," William Root, the chief compliance officer at Louisiana's Department of Health and Hospitals, told USA Today. "We put so much faith and confidence in our physicians, (and) most of them deserve it. But when one of them is wrong or goes astray, it can do a lot of damage."
My late husband several doctors so-called specialists tried to convince him to have major heart surgery, told him he had a 50/50 chance he would survive it, and if he did, the surgery would only correct about half of his multiple problems, he said no, they had some not-so-nice words for me when I supported his choice. the "specialists" told him his failing heart would maybe last another year. He lived about 3 1/2 years after that and cause of death was a rare form of adult onset leukemia.... sometimes they ain't always right,....ca-ching.....
look, you have a kid or two in harvard. the tuition is not cheap. they both need a new mercedes which you happily buy them as well as keeping them amply supplied with spending cash. so what do you expect these doctors to do? and dentists are equally drill happy. y'all won't believe this but i have had dentsists i would not send my dog to. and i don't even have a dog.
This study is crap. 43% of colonoscopies done without clinical indication? That is a bold face lie. An insurance company won't pay for a procedure without an indication. Sorry, they won't just take our word for it. And for you guys that think all we do is get rich, try living in the physician's world for a while. This study is done by a bunch of people out to prove something. None of the author's are even surgeons. That's like me saying that "millions of prescriptions of high blood pressure medicine are prescribed but unneeded" It depends on who says they are unneeded. I never push patients toward a surgery, and I always make a point to make sure that is what they want. Sometimes I do recommend surgery, but it is up to the patient. Not to mention that in most literature series, happiness with the end result of surgery is in the 80-100% range. I am sorry if the posters on this forum have had bad experiences, but you should discuss this with you doctor, not assume "there was no reason" for the surgery. And as a note, all of the "alternatives" described above have about a 10% or less success rate. It's like appendectomy. Someone comes in with an infected appendix, and I operate within 12 hours to remove it. They go home usually in about another 12 hours, and are back to work within a week. Go to Europe, they don't remove the appendix. They put you in the hospital for a week on heavy does antibiotics(try adding up THAT bill, approx. $15,000), then you MAY go home, and you MAY another round of appendicitis a few weeks alter, and then they MAY take it out, or you may get chronic pain.
I have to look my patients in the eyes, especially when they get a complication, and I have to go home and look at myself in the mirror. I have never, ever, recommended a surgery that I didn't think was in the best interest for the patient
The are just educated used car salesmen. Greedy, greedy, greedy. And with their noses in the air because YOUR money made them rich. Don't be intimidated by them - question their arrogant @sses every chance you get.
There is a reason both "Dr.s" and "burglars" wear a mask. They have their own best interest in mind when you walk through the door--not yours. They're not your "friend," not "a god,"--they work at the Jiffy Lube and you're the quick oil change. Know that and know what you want from them before you go. Know what you will-and will NOT accept as treatment. If they're a horse's **** move on. They won't get better--and neither will you.
You know, it seems like more and more of these articles cite some off the wall group of eggheads with a fancy name with no grunts or original work.
You think that it is bad now....just wait until we give all of the free loaders free Obama-Care health insurance that we, the working tax payers, will have to pay for. We will get the shaft from both ends....from the ne'erdowells that won't work for their health insurance and the doctors performing the unnecessary procedures for big $$$.
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