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Unnecessary Surgeries Create Unnecessary Risk

Cosmetic surgery aside, it is safe to say that most people would not willingly submit to unnecessary surgery. Yet millions of unnecessary surgeries are performed each year in the United States on unsuspecting patients. These unnecessary procedures expose uninformed and unwitting patients to serious health risks, complications, infection, additional surgery, or even death. Undoubtedly, if these patients had full informed consent, these unnecessary and dangerous surgeries would not occur.

Many people who are subjected to unnecessary surgeries never realize it. They simply blindly trust the medical recommendations provided by their doctor. According to an article in Natural News, some of the most frequently prescribed, but medically unnecessary surgeries include:

  • Coronary bypass surgery. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that many coronary bypass surgeries performed in the United States are in fact of no benefit to patients who receive them.
  • Women with benign uterine fibroids or intact ovaries have been unnecessarily subjected to hysterectomies for no medically valid reason.
  • Cesarean sections. Women in the United States are considerably more likely to be given a cesarean section during birth than any other group of women in the world.

Why Do Unnecessary Surgeries Happen?

Many speculate that there is one of two reasons why unnecessary surgeries are ordered by doctors: either the doctor is the problem, or no second opinion was obtained (which is still a problem based on the doctor’s recommendation for the unnecessary surgery in the first place).

  • Some doctors overestimate their ability, level of skill or level of experience. Indeed, often times they are overconfident and under skilled. Some doctors are simply incompetent. It’s also possible that greed is a driving factor behind the decision of some doctors to recommend unnecessary surgery since doctors and hospitals stand to profit from performing surgical procedures. Regardless, the net result is that far too many unnecessary surgeries are being performed and far too many patients are being subject to needless health risks.
  • No Second Opinions. Many patients trust their doctor, since medical professionals have years of medical training that patients often lack. Most patients trust their doctor so implicitly that they do not even seek a second medical opinion from a different doctor concerning a recommendation for surgery. In an article titled Death By Medicine, by Dr. Gary Null et al., it was found that just over 17 percent of patients who are recommended for surgery do not obtain a second opinion from another doctor about the recommendation.

You should be able to trust your doctor, but how can you trust a doctor who recommends unnecessary surgery? If you believe that you have been subjected to an unnecessary surgery, or if you have been injured by a medical professional, do not hesitate to contact one of our medical malpractice lawyers at Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. Initial consultations are free of charge so call us at (215) 567-3500 or send us an email through our online contact form available here.


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