For certain medical issues, surgery is truly either the best option or the only viable way of treating the underlying cause of someone’s symptoms.
However, there are also many patients every year who undergo surgical interventions that are not truly medically necessary. In some cases, they may undergo procedures that are risky or have lower success rates than less-invasive treatments. These are some of the most common reasons that patients undergo unnecessary surgeries.
The only reason for unnecessary surgeries that does not imply some kind of professional or ethical failing on the part of the care provider involved is when an adult chooses to undergo surgical procedures not out of medical necessity but due to personal wishes. Examples include cosmetic procedures intended to change someone’s appearance and surgeries that people believe could affect their daily lives but which are not technically necessary to treat a medical condition.
There are multiple kinds of medical mistakes that could lead to a patient undergoing unnecessary surgery. Misdiagnosis by a physician would be one example. Another would be a failure to consult with others before recommending treatment. There is a saying that someone who has a hammer will see every problem as a nail. A physician comfortable referring people out for surgeries may not review other options that have higher success rates and lower risk of complication because it is a simple solution. They may also fail to advise patients of failure rates or alternative treatments.
Greedy care providers
Sometimes, surgeons recommend treatment that patients do not require simply because they would like to bill that individual’s insurance for an expensive surgical procedure. Occasionally, those engaging in this kind of insurance fraud will bill for a procedure they didn’t perform, but many will take the extra step of actually operating unnecessarily on people to make it harder to prove they engaged in fraudulent billing practices.
Unnecessary surgeries can cost people thousands of dollars and keep them out of work for weeks at a time. In some cases, these interventions may lead to tragic outcomes for the patients involved and their family members. Understanding why unnecessary surgeries occur in the United States could inspire people to seek legal guidance if they are in a position to question the necessity of a recent operation that resulted in a harmful outcome.