Surgical Mistakes By Mrs Vera West

     Here is some sobering news coming from the establishment about the mistakes of surgeons performing arthroscopic knee operations; at least one in 10 make mistakes and cause “unintended damage”: The Australian, June 26, 2017, p. 3.  The article says that some orthopaedic surgeons say that damage to cartilage tissue occurred in every five procedures, and some surgeons believed that it occurred in every operation! See: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/2309499016684993.

     This has been used to make a case for the increased use of robots in surgical practice, but there is also a case for less surgery, made by Sydney orthopaedic surgeon Ian Harris: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/confessions-of-a-sydney-surgeon-why-your-operation-may-not-work-20160302-gn95ya.html. He has a very good book, Surgery: The Ultimate Placebo: https://www.newsouthbooks.com.au/books/surgery-ultimate-placebo/,  which is a fantastic read and should be looked at by every person considering surgery. Harris’s message is to think, read the peer-reviewed papers, ask questions, and get a second, or third opinion, if necessary. I was simply astonished to find that evidence was lacking for the effectiveness of certain common procedures.

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