Health & Fitness

December 9, 2013 12:00 AM

Make sure surgery is about your needs, not doctor’s

More than 15 million Americans undergo surgery each year, but there’s growing recognition that some elective operations may be more about the surgeon’s preference than about the patient’s need for the procedure. Researchers at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice released a report last year showing that some doctors routinely send their patients to surgery more often than other physicians do. For instance, Medicare patients in Casper, Wyo., were found to be more than seven times as likely to get elective back surgery for back pain as Medicare patients in Honolulu.

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