Six Common, Often Unnecessary Surgeries

June 26, 2013 | Crandall & Pera Law
Six Common, Often Unnecessary Surgeries

All patients should be aware of six common surgeries that carry significant risks of being done without medical necessity, according to federal data and independent studies. 

  1. Cardiac angioplasty - In cases where patients were not suffering acute heart attack symptoms, 12% of all angioplasty procedures were found to lack medical necessity, according to a Journal of the American Medical Association study. The procedure has risks including heart attack, stroke or death in two to six percent of patients.

  2. Cardiac pacemakers - A 2011 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that in 22.5% of cases of patients who had an implantable cardioverter-defribrillator to correct heartbeat irregularities, no medical evidence was found to support the installation.

  3. Back surgery, spinal fusion - More than 17% of patients assessed in a 2011 Surgical Neurology International study were told they needed spinal surgery when they had no abnormal neurological or radiographic findings in their case histories.

  4. Hysterectomy - A 2000 study for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists found the surgery was recommended inappropriately in about 70% of cases they assessed, often because doctors did not try non-surgical approaches.

  5. Knee and hip replacement - Researchers of a 2012 Health Affairs study found that patients who received information on joint replacements and alternative treatments had 26% fewer hip replacements and 38% fewer knee replacements.

  6. Cesarean section - There are vast differences in practice patterns nationwide, with cesarean rates varying tenfold across hospitals - from 7.1% to 69.9% - according to a 2013 Health Affairs study.

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Many Americans are injured and suffer wrongful death due to unnecessary surgery. Faith and trust are put in the surgeons who treat us, which allows for this to occur. Medical malpractice, wrongful death, and pain and suffering often result when surgery is performed when not indicated.

If you have been injured due to medical malpractice, including mistakes in treatment, 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.