Tens of Thousands of Unnecessary Surgeries in US Every Year


Most of us have grown up and been taught to trust our doctors and their recommendations.  Most of us have also grown up to understand that surgery is usually a last resort that is always serious, even if that surgery is relatively common and referred to as minor by the medical professionals who are performing it.  Any time we have to go under general anesthesia or have doctors cut us open to correct any type of problem, we do not think of these situations as minor by any stretch.  Surgery is a stressful ordeal for almost everyone, and taking this step requires some courage and a readiness to deal with the recovery.

Given this general attitude, most people would think that surgeries are relatively rare in the United States, as most assume that doctors will look at almost any alternative for treatment before deciding that it’s time for this step.  Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the case based on a report that was recently published.  This report alleged that unnecessary surgeries are ordered in the United States and that the number of them that are done would surprise almost anyone who looked more closely into the issue.

The report was put out by the USA Today, and it reviewed medical records from all over the United States in an attempt to get a feel for what was happening in this regard.  The report found that tens of thousands of surgeries are done every year across the country that are not medically necessary and that between 10 and 20 percent of all surgeries could and perhaps should be avoided.  This stunning number also got into some of the reasons why unnecessary surgeries are ordered:

  • Defensive medicine
  • Lack of certainty regarding other treatment options
  • Revenue
  • Fraud

The last point above is the one that is drawing the most ire from those who have seen this report.  Doctors have been arrested in recent years for billing public entities such as Medicare for surgeries that were not necessary, and this is a problem that is growing every year as people get older and healthcare laws become more complicated and confusing.

What seems to be overlooked here is the fact that these unnecessary surgeries also take their toll on the patients who are forced to endure them.  When a patient is told that surgery is necessary, he or she is most likely going to believe that doctor for obvious reasons and therefore agree to go through it as recommended.  Some people will seek a second opinion, but too many do not and as a result face obstacles that were never meant to be there in the first place.

If you or someone you love has been harmed because of substandard medical care, you need to do something about it as soon as possible.  Contact the New York medical malpractice lawyers at The Fitzgerald Law Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.