How to Avoid Surgical Procedures You Don’t Actually Need

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Playing Placebo Surgery Proves Shoulder Procedure Unnecessary?

The Doctors discuss how a placebo surgery, where patients think they are undergoing a procedure, but do not actually have it, could help to eliminate unnecessary operations. Plus, we share how you can avoid having medicals procedures you do not need in the first place.

Watch: How One Mom Tricked Her Kids with Placebos

Professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Oxford Dr. Andrew Carr and surgical oncologist Dr. Marty Makary join us to discuss. Dr. Carr conducted a study using this placebo approach with a common shoulder surgery, which he says there is not enough evidence in place to support performing, which removes a bone spur. Dr. Carr says the outcome for patients who had the surgery compared to those who did not, was no different.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Ho says the placebo effect is anywhere from 15 to 72 percent, according to studies.

Watch: Could Placebos Help You Ween Off Sleeping Pills?

The Doctors ask what needs to change in order for the hundreds of thousands of unnecessary surgeries that take place each year to stop?

Dr. Makary feels surgeons and doctors need to stress to patients that certain surgeries will not solve their health issues and that they should never perform one if not truly needed. He explains that if a doctor tells you that a health issue you have been living with for years can be treated in just a day after an initial consultation, this should serve as a possible warning of an unnecessary surgery. 

 

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