Thursday, July 31, 2008

How doctors scare patients !

Infertile patients will often get an ultrasound scan done to check their pelvic anatomy. Many of them will have small fibroids; or ovarian cysts, which the radiologist will duly report. The tragedy is that doctors will then use this as a pretext to operate on these patients to "correct" these abnormalities.

The truth is that most women ( including fertile women) will have small cysts and fibroids. These are extremely common benign tumours, which do not cause any problem. The trouble is that modern imaging techniques have become so "good", that they can pick up all these minor findings. This is where the problem starts. Patients are not sophisticated enough to realise that these are of no clinical importance. Because they are noted and reported, they start panicking when they read the report. Unscrupulous doctors then take advantage of this, and suggest "minor surgery" to correct this problem. This is the second problem. Because modern surgical techniques have become so "good", most of these can be removed by "minimally invasive surgery". Since it's minor surgery, patients are quite happy to agree to the intervention. Not only does this kind of surgery do no good, it causes the patient to lose time, money and energy - and when the surgery fails to result in a baby, they end up losing confidence in doctors and the medical profession. Many doctors, in order to increase their workload and patient throughput, will often have a "tie-up" with a friendly radiologist, who is encouraged to report these minor findings, so that they can "correct " them !

Good doctors are conservative - and will not advise unnecessary surgical intervention. Sometimes, remember that "less is more" !

1 comment:

  1. information well and good ... I like your way of thinking about treatment.
    Thanks for sharing


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