The following seven allies are your patient's package for reducing the chances of infections, complications, side effects and mistakes. They also hasten recovery.
Appendix removal. Three quarters of all appendices removed in Germany found normal.
Back operations. Surgery often has no advantage over safer treatments e.g. physiotherapy. Lancet says 60 per cent of operations unnecessary.
Biopsy. If for cancer, may spread it. Can sometimes be done by your GP.
Breast removal. Removal of whole breast does not increase survival over removal of lump only, or quarter of breast. Review of 8,000 cases shows no differences in survival between any of the procedures.
Heart bypass. Recovery slow. Scarring and depression common. Patients do not live longer after operation unless blockage severe. European Coronary Surgery Study Group showed benefits marginal if at all.
Gallstone removal. One in 30 elderly die from operations. Leaves scars and pain. But "quiet" stones often removed unnecessarily. New safer ultrasonic method available.
Heart and kidney transplants. Russian roulette. Alternative methods can save hearts and kidneys.
Hernia. Four times more dangerous to have operation than to go without.
Hysterectomy. Only one in five clinically justified in US where 1/2 million performed p.a. Thirty per cent of cases infected. 40 per cent of patientsdepressed.
Tonsils and adenoids removal. Not necessary except when there is danger of blockage.
Tympanostomy (ear drum puncture and drainage). An unnecessary fashion, like tonsil removal. Blockages treatable by diet.