Minimally Invasive Surgeries Underused Nationwide

July 31, 2014 | Crandall & Pera Law
Minimally Invasive Surgeries Underused Nationwide

Despite the risk of fewer complications and less pain, U.S. hospitals are not using minimally invasive surgeries as often as they should, according to a study reported in a recent NBC News article.

A survey of 1,051 U.S. hospitals in 45 states found that while 71 percent used minimally invasive surgery to take out an appendix, only 28 percent to take out part of the colon, even though keyhole colon surgery has about a third the complication rate of open surgery. Additionally, only 13 percent used the same approach for a hysterectomy and 32 percent to remove part of a diseased lung.

Urban hospitals are more likely to use techniques that involve small incisions, leading to less pain, fewer complications and smaller scars, than rural hospitals.

"This disparity may be due to the broad range of surgical services some surgeons in rural areas are required to provide and a scarcity of surgical specialists in such areas with advanced skills in minimally invasive surgery," the study's doctors wrote in their report, published in the British Medical Journal. Read the full article here:

Hospitals Underusing Keyhole Surgery, Study Finds

It is disappointing to see that physicians aren't using minimally invasive surgery more often even though the complication rate is less than the more invasive, traditional surgery. It is also disappointing to see that people who seek care in rural areas frequently seem to get poorer care than those in urban areas.

If you have been injured due to medical malpractice, including surgical errors, please call to investigate your matter fully. Crandall & Pera Law is available to help answer your questions and guide you in determining your next steps.