Modern operations can treat everything from cancer to obesity, but not without some risk. Despite advances in pathogen control and anesthesia, surgery is invasive and dangerous. Given the risks involved with an operation, medical professionals should always explore less-invasive options before telling a patient to go under the knife.
You would probably assume that most medical professionals only recommend surgery when it is the only option or the best option. However, research shows that unnecessary surgical procedures are not uncommon.
Some common unnecessary surgeries, according to USA Today, include:
- Cardiac stents and angioplasty
- Cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators
- Spinal surgeries
- Knee replacements
- Cesarean sections
- Endoscopic sinus surgery
There are numerous consequences for unnecessary surgeries for the patients, ranging from surgical complications to additional expenses.
Why do doctors recommend unnecessary surgical procedures?
They have not yet learned about newer alternatives
Experience is beneficial for someone practicing medicine unless they allow their personal work history to overshadow modern best practices. Some surgeons will fail to stay up-to-date on the best treatments and procedures available. As a result, they could recommend a procedure that has since been replaced by a medication or a less invasive surgery.
They want the financial benefits that come from the surgery
Many forms of provider insurance fraud involved a doctor or other medical professional claiming compensation for treatment that they didn’t provide. However, there are others who will provide unnecessary treatment so that they can bill the patient’s insurance for it.
Doctors might recommend surgery because one of their partners can perform and bill for it, or they approve a procedure on a patient who would benefit from another form of therapy because they want the money.
Patients who suspect that they have undergone an unnecessary procedure may have concerns about their doctor’s motivation or the impact of the procedure on their life. Talking to other doctors about whether your treatment followed modern best practices or whether the surgery was necessary could be an important first step in bringing a medical malpractice claim related to an unnecessary surgery.