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Surgical Procedures – Need or Greed?!

Many multi facility hospitals have high expenditure and to meet the costs they allot the doctors with a quota to be completed every month. The major payout the hospitals get is from the surgeries performed, which is to say a decision in the hands of the Patient but as in reality we know how it all works. However, increasingly, patients are opting for non-surgical alternatives which are actually a better option.

The idea that a patient should go undergo Surgery, these days, is not driven by the actual need for a surgery but is in fact a consequence of the burden that doctors are being forced to share in the form of achieving their monthly targets which are more a necessity for the hospitals to meet their expenditures.

The list of often unneeded surgeries includes

Back Surgery – The process of lumbar discectomy which is performed on patients with the ailment of sciatica is factually not more effective than the non-surgical and lesser invasive options available. Furthermore, the success rate for such surgery is only 25%. This complex Procedure does not offer superior benefits when compared to the noninvasive technique of spinal decompression but costs three to four times as much.

Stents – Stents play the role of expanding a blood vessel and helping in the free flow of blood. Except in some cases where in the use of stents was mandatory to save a life, currently, stents are being abused as a treatment for even minor clogs in blood vessels. This is irrespective of the fact that patients undergoing surgery in stents often end up with lifelong complications and ailments.

Hysterectomy – The process of the removal of uterus is often due of absence of adequate diagnosis and also owing to the fact that any other alternate treatments are discouraged. Furthermore, the removal of ovaries without consent to prevent future problems makes the procedure very unethical.

Cardiac Pacemakers – Recent research has shown that more than 23 percent of heart pacemakers installed may be unnecessary.

Knee Replacement – A surgery to replace the surfaces which bear weight in the joint of the knee. Studies who that almost 45 percent of patients asked to undergo the procedure of knee replacement actually did not need the surgery.

Cesarean Section – One of the most common surgeries performed around the world is the procedure of cesarean section, however, increasingly, there have been rapidly increasing instances of the performance of the procedure in cases of even low risk pregnancies.

Personal experience:

I have had a personal experience in a case wherein the money mindedness of the hospitals would have cost my friend a life of continual distress, wherein a minor complication evolved into a fistula owing to the non-availability of proper treatment. Even the second opinion consulted for, asked him to undergo another surgery. However, doctors in my family and doctors consulted for third and fourth opinions strongly disagreed with the suggestion of making him undergo another surgery yet again and suggested an alternate option wherein the fistula was supposed to waited on, so that it epithelizes and then a procedure called fistulectomy is performed which is relatively much safer, but again depends on many factors.

The Road Ahead

In the corporate and capitalist world, we today live in, there is a necessity for the introduction of accountable and transparent practices, especially in the sector of health. A beginning would be stringent policy changes to monitor the cases of unethical practices being reported and to take the time and patience to actually check out such instances and take action against the hospitals involved in the same. Another alternative to this would be the introduction of subsidies and supportive policies for private hospitals, so that doctors are not burdened with the issues of achieving their prescribed targets and can do their duty of serving people without unnecessary haggles.

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Surgical Procedures – Need or Greed?!


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