Thursday, August 18, 2005

BusinessWeek: Is Heart Surgery Worth It?

Great article in Business Week about the problems with Heart Surgery. Remember one of my health care prophecies? Coming true.

Here's the interesting thing: Back surgery, knee surgery, tonsillectomies, and other "routine" surgeries failed to show benefits long-term. In fact, a lot do harm. Most are just big placebo affects and expensive ones, too. But people still keep wanting surgery and of course, surgeons oblige.

Why? Surgeries are painful, almost always result in adhesions and scar tissue that cause loss of use, etc. But this is what surgeries do for you: Your pain becomes legit, you get time off, sympathy and a break from life. Sure there are unfortunate side-effects like time wasted, difficult recoveries and painful rehab, but wow! There are benefits too.

In our crazy world, sometimes the only break we get is by getting really good and sick or hurt. It just doesn't feel right to say, "hey, I need a break for a month. I'm going to the Carribean." Yet that is often just what we need.

Update: Mr. Dr. M found this link regarding Knee Surgery.
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