Patients face many risks in the hospital, with one of the biggest risks being surgery. Every year, thousands of patients have surgery. However, a new report by USA Today found that at least 10 percent of all surgeries are unnecessary.
The report was based on government records and medical databases and found that many common surgeries are performed on patients even though they are not medical necessary or beneficial for the patient.
Some of these unnecessary surgeries are due to doctors bilking insurance companies for surgeries that are not necessary for the patient. More of these unnecessary surgeries are caused by doctors who are not experienced enough or were not properly trained to understand all the medical options available for a patient, including surgical and non-surgical treatments.
The study reported that 10 to 20 percent of surgeries in the U.S. may be medically unnecessary. Some of the most common surgeries that may be overly recommended for patients include many cardiac procedures, spinal surgeries, knee replacements, cesarean sections and hysterectomies.
Unnecessary surgery can be very risky for patients because it can cause complications, long-term health issues and even death in some patients. Despite these dangers, states and the federal government do not track unnecessary surgeries being performed in hospitals even though they put patients at risk for infections and complications.
Patient safety experts are concerned about the risks surgery patients face because the issue has not been addressed and it is difficult to track how many surgeries are unnecessary and even harmful for patients.
While it is difficult to track these unnecessary surgeries, patients have filed medical malpractice lawsuits in the past after being required to undergo unnecessary surgery. Doctors and hospitals can be held liable for surgical complications and errors and victims can pursue legal action against them. Victims of surgical errors or complications should consult a medical malpractice attorney to discuss their specific case.
Source: USA Today, “Doctors perform thousands of unnecessary surgeries,” Peter Eisler and Barbara Hansen, June 20, 2013