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Old 05-12-2013, 05:02 PM
 
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Saying no to surgery - latimes.com

Interesting article in LA Times about how surgery is not always the optimal choice.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:12 AM
 
Location: North Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixmike11 View Post
Saying no to surgery - latimes.com

Interesting article in LA Times about how surgery is not always the optimal choice.
I'm surprised how many people will immediately make the leap to surgery. It's bizarre. Why would you want to immediately go to the option that involves being cut open and being brought to the verge of death by an anesthesiologist when there are other options you could try first?

I've had surgery a few times, but nothing really major. I had surgery as an infant to repair damage from a birth injury. That was necessary. I had surgery in college to remove my wisdom teeth; I had to be put under general since 2 were impacted and they were removing all four at once. I was put under general anesthesia for a procedure in my mid-20s, and a few months ago I had LASIK which is sort of "surgery" but not really.

I remember the feeling of utter helplessness of being put under general anesthesia; one minute you are clear-headed, the next you are slipping dumbly away as you count backwards from 10. I don't like that feeling and I find it frightening. Basically you're lying there like a helpless slab of meat while people who neither know you nor care about you are slicing you open. It is truly the stuff of nightmares.

I'd only agree to surgery if it was necessary to preserve my quality of life. Or if I'd die without it, but would make a very meaningful recovery with it.

It's amazing to me the people who will voluntarily get plastic surgery or weight loss surgery then be plagued by complications for months or years afterwards...for surgery they didn't even need.

It brings to mind my grandfather's multiple surgeries. He has since passed, unfortunately, but about 20 years ago he had surgery for prostate cancer. He wore a diaper for the rest of his life. Personally I think surgery was too aggressive an approach for his cancer, since his was early stage. So many men are devastated by the permanent incontinence/erectile dysfunction that accompanies prostate surgery that might not have been necessary in the first place.

His quintuple bypass was necessary, unfortunately. He was in an ICU for a while afterwards. I remember visiting him there, and visiting briefly with the man the next bed over. There were three patients in the room and they could close off their areas with curtains. I don't know if this is normal for ICUs or not; when my mother was in an ICU, she had her own room. But I digress. The patient next to my grandfather had the same surgery as he did, and he did not survive. He died of a MRSA infection. My grandfather also contracted a MRSA infection and survived it, but was scarred badly by it. His MRSA infection was on his leg. The other patient's MRSA infection was in his chest. Terrifying.

Our healthcare system is really sick, especially since aggressive intervention is rewarded and a 'wait and see' approach is not.
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
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we are very thankful for doctors that are not knife happy. Our Orthopedist is doing everything he can to postpone my knee replacement. So far, things are looking positive enough I might not have anything done for a year or longer. He has taken the same approach to my husband. Hubby's surgeon takes a similar approach. Anyone who doesn't take time to think about whether surgery is the answer or not, is as much at fault as the doctor prescribing the surgery.

I do think we all need to realize "wait and see" approach isn't always the answer though. The secret is having doctors that take the time and care enough to explain the procedure and what to expect. Also to give alternatives if they exist. years ago, for instance complications were much more common with surgery but the alternatives were not as great. I think this can be said about things like: 1-prostate cancer or breast cancer, radiation was not as good as today, so often surgery was the only option. We didn't have stints and angioplasty so you either opted for bypass or your opt for an earlier death. At the other side of the coin was things like OA, if you hips, knees, etc were shot, yu lived with the pain or you lived on pain pills. Now, there is replacement surgery which is not even all the complicated anymore.

I think we all have to make the decision, based on life or death situation and quality of life without the surgery.
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Old 05-13-2013, 11:00 AM
 
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Surgery should only be taken as a last resort but most people don't reflect on it. Doctor says so, they have to do it! Well, little do they know the doctor is thinking about his wallet when he suggests surgery. If the person ends up worse than before, that's their problem.

Surgery should be avoided at all costs.
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:48 PM
 
Location: South Florida
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Maybe a few doctors are motivated by the money, but I think most of them just jump to surgery because the patients are horrible about complying with more conservative measures. My son, 16, has been dealing with a herniated disc since December. We had five or six appointments with the doctor as we got him better. The doctor, accustomed to dealing with middle to older age patients, was always delighted to see my son. Many times he remarked how great it was to have a patient who actually listened to his recommendations, who took his medication as instructed, and who complied with the physical therapy schedule and recommended rest intervals. Most of his patients took their medication and attended PT sporadically, then came in for follow-up and declared the medicine and PT don't work and they wanted surgery.
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDGeek View Post
It brings to mind my grandfather's multiple surgeries. He has since passed, unfortunately, but about 20 years ago he had surgery for prostate cancer. He wore a diaper for the rest of his life. Personally I think surgery was too aggressive an approach for his cancer, since his was early stage. So many men are devastated by the permanent incontinence/erectile dysfunction that accompanies prostate surgery that might not have been necessary in the first place.
Most major surgeries simply extend your lifetime but their consequences deprive you of any quality of life. The treatment is worse than the disease. I know what I would choose.

I don't want to the person who lives to 100 with the last 20 stucked in a bed.
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:08 PM
 
Location: North Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayN View Post
Most major surgeries simply extend your lifetime but their consequences deprive you of any quality of life. The treatment is worse than the disease. I know what I would choose.

I don't want to the person who lives to 100 with the last 20 stucked in a bed.
Exactly. I'd rather have fewer high-quality years than more low-quality years. Once I get to the point where I can't live on my own, I'll take care of matters by myself before I become unable to do so.
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JayN View Post
Well, little do they know the doctor is thinking about his wallet when he suggests surgery.
Perhaps some are - but such sweeping generalisations are just as harmful as those who suggest un-needed surgery. Many simply suggest surgery because _they_ feel it is the correct solution to the problem. That does not mean they are always correct - but error does not automatically condemn someone of fraud or personal agendas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayN View Post
Most major surgeries simply extend your lifetime but their consequences deprive you of any quality of life.
"Most"? What are we basing this on exactly?
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayN View Post
Most major surgeries simply extend your lifetime but their consequences deprive you of any quality of life. The treatment is worse than the disease. I know what I would choose.

I don't want to the person who lives to 100 with the last 20 stucked in a bed.
I think most of us would rather not live to be 100 and spend years confined to a bed or wheelchair, but certainly, using the term: most major surgeries, is overstating the frequency. Not to mention major surgery, though used too often, does not deprive you of your quality of life. I can give so many examples of friends and family members who are alive and well today that had major surgery. Some years ago.

Nita
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