Unnecessary medical treatments cause concern for patients regularly. These treatments can pose long-term risks and a financial burden. Unnecessary treatments come in many forms, making it difficult to recognize them in some instances.
There are a few common treatments that doctors may order unnecessarily.
You would expect a doctor to only order surgery when it is absolutely necessary, but that is not always the case. Misdiagnosis can lead to an unnecessary appendectomy, while C-sections often occur unnecessarily as well. An unnecessary surgery puts patients at risk of complications during recovery. This can lead to additional treatments and care.
Imaging tests ordered unnecessarily expose patients to radiation without cause. This may lead to further unnecessary procedures as well. Frequent, unnecessary blood tests can put a financial strain on both patients and their insurance carriers. Some doctors order unnecessary biopsies as well, causing not only added expenses but also unnecessary anxiety and the risk of complications.
Overprescribing medications has led to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, opioid addictions and long-term complications from the use of statins and similar medications without medical necessity. Not only that, but overprescribing medications also increases a patient’s risk of negative interactions and potential reactions.
According to Fortune Magazine, unnecessary medical treatments and surgeries cost up to $200 billion every year. This affects consumers as well as the healthcare industry. Patients should understand the importance of seeking a second opinion and advocating for themselves before agreeing to a treatment that seems extensive or unnecessary.