You Should Know About Surgery
Millions of surgeries are conducted
annually in the United States. It is an economic engine that
drives hospitals. The financial impact surgeries have on institutions
is best illustrated when elective procedures had to be canceled
due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. From March
to May of that year, U.S. hospitals lost over $22 billion dollars
according to Annals
of Surgery, a medical journal (Source:
Becker’s Healthcare on January 26, 2021). Due
to the profits surgery generates, surgeons, backed by the hospitals
they work for, strive to perform as many procedures as possible.
Consequently, it is not surprising to learn that many of these
surgeries are unnecessary as institutions increasingly gravitate
towards a “profits above patients” approach to medical
A Few Examples
of Unnecessary Surgeries:
Surgeries (Knee, Hip, Shoulder,
etc.) - Depending
- Back (Spine) Surgeries
- Venous Ablations performed in operating rooms
- Gallbladder Removal - Check out Gallbladder
- Tonsillectomies – More
than 88% of tonsillectomies are unnecessary
- Appendectomies –Many studies have
demonstrated that appendicitis (if the appendix has not burst)
can be treated with antibiotics. See Antibiotics
Can Be as Effective as Surgery in Some Appendicitis Cases
for more information.
- Hysterectomies - Approximately 600,000 hysterectomies
are performed each year in the United States. It is estimated
that 85% to 90% of all hysterectomies are unnecessary.
Hysterectomies should only be performed for life-threatening
conditions such as invasive cancers of the uterus, ovaries,
and cervix (many cases of early stage cervical cancer can
be treated by a cone biopsy), unmanageable infections such
as gangrene on the uterus that could lead to sepsis, and serious
complications during childbirth such as rupture of the uterus.
Sadly, many gynecologists have scared women into having a
hysterectomy by telling them that their benign conditions
such as endometriosis, fibroid tumors, and ovarian cysts could
be cancerous. Gynecologists, hospitals, and pharmaceutical
companies make billions of dollars from hysterectomies annually.
For more information, read the article, Why
Are Hysterectomies Often Unnecessary?
In addition to performing unnecessary procedures,
another example of how hospitals disregard the needs, comforts,
dignity, and rights of individuals is the fact that many hospitals
in the U.S. implemented an inhumane no-visitor policy during
the COVID pandemic. The purpose of this policy was to control
the spread of the disease, and though this approach seemed effective,
it ultimately did more harm than good as it forced many patients
to recover and even die alone. For more information, read the
Visitor Policy During a Pandemic for more a more
in-depth discussion on why this policy was a huge mistake and
how patients should always be able to have a support person
with them at all times with no time limits.
An administrator at a hospital argued that the
no-visitor policy helped to reduce traffic at the hospital,
which lessens the chance of COVID spreading. Misty Roberts,
the president of Medical Patient Modesty, discussed why this
policy was unethical while encouraging the hospital to cancel
elective surgeries instead of implementing the no-visitor policy.
One person with the hospital replied that elective surgeries
could not be cancelled because it was a large source of revenue
for them. The response of this individual shows that, sadly,
the hospital was more focused on making profits than providing
compassionate care for patients.
Not only are individuals subjected to heavy-handed
hospital policies, patients are also pushed by doctors who insist
that they undergo surgeries that prove to be unnecessary. Doctors
have a lot of power and often make “decisions” for
their patients. Societal norms have conditioned the public to
trust doctors as definitive experts and not to question them.
People are frowned upon if they conduct their own research regarding
medical issues and procedures. As a result, individuals tend
to not push back against inhumane policies and dehumanizing
experiences when interacting with the medical community.
Thousands of patients annually have sustained
injuries or complications such as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant
Staphylococcus aureus) infections from surgeries in the U.S.
Some patients even die during or after their procedure as a
result of infections. Check out MRSA
Survivors Network to see some cases of surgery
patients who contracted MRSA. One man contracted MRSA during
knee replacement surgery at the hospital where he worked. As
a result, the surgery left his knees in much worse shape. At
one point, he had to be airlifted to another hospital in order
to save his life. Another patient suffered a heart attack and
experienced many other complications, including nerve damage,
from a back surgery she thought would help her.
Most people are aware that surgeries carry risks,
but it is common for doctors to fail to fully disclose all of
the hazards, probabilities of surgeries worsening or improving
their conditions, or alternative non-surgical treatments. Many
doctors recommend surgeries even when potential complications
of the surgery could outweigh the benefits. Why does
1. Many surgeons were trained
in medical school to conduct as many surgeries as possible even
when they could treat their patients conservatively with non-surgical
means because, these institutions teach that surgery is the
solution to many health issues. In some cases, doctors are paid
ten times more to perform surgery than to manage a problem using
2. Many surgeons are incentivized
to perform surgical procedures for financial gain, renown, or
3. Some surgeons have consulting
or speaking agreements with medical device companies and sometimes
are awarded payments to them for trips, lodging, continuing
education, etc. (See this website to search for payments issued
to specific doctors and hospitals: https://openpaymentsdata.cms.gov/)
Many hospitals value their surgeons who perform
the most procedures because surgery generates profits, and they
offer their top-performing doctors special recognition. For
example, one surgeon received a banner sign recognizing him
for performing 3,000 robotic surgeries. Because of the prestige
and revenue doctors generate, many hospitals do not want to
hold them accountable for crimes they commit. For example, a
hospital in Ohio continued to keep a colorectal
surgeon, Dr. Ryan Williams on their staff for a while even
after allegations of raping patients. They also continued to
advertise him as an excellent surgeon. It is apparent that this
hospital was more concerned about their profits than patient
There are some caring surgeons who are more
concerned about what is best for patients than making a profit.
Here are a couple of examples:
- An elderly man was desperate to get pain
relief for his shoulder so he went to a local orthopedic surgeon.
He was told that he needed a shoulder replacement surgery
and that he was an excellent candidate for surgery. His granddaughter
was very concerned because he had some serious health issues
such as severe sleep apnea. She encouraged her grandparents
to get a second opinion so they scheduled an appointment with
a different orthopedic practice. The second orthopedic surgeon
told the man that he did not recommend the surgery because
he was at a high risk of having a stroke and that it was likely
that the surgery would not help his shoulder anyway.
- An orthopedic surgeon told a lady whose hip
muscles were damaged by polio that a hip replacement surgery
would not help her at all because she had no muscles in her
hips to hold the hip replacements. Many surgeons would have
jumped at the opportunity to operate on her without telling
her the truth for a profit. The same orthopedic surgeon told
the lady’s husband with severe knee pain who has poor
circulation in his legs that he could not do a knee replacement
surgery because it would make him worse and that he would
likely end up in a wheelchair.
Truth About Anesthesia / Sedation:
Most people are not aware that an increasing
number of procedures can be performed in a more relaxed office
setting or outpatient surgery center with only a local anesthetic.
But some doctors will not offer patients this option due to
the amount of money hospitals make off surgeries conducted in
operating rooms using general anesthesia or sedation. While
some doctors claim they use sedation and/or general anesthesia
as a way to make the procedure less traumatic for patients,
they may also be driven financially to do so because they get
paid more for performing a surgery with sedation and/or general
anesthesia versus using a local anesthesia.
Patients who are under general anesthesia
or heavily sedated are extremely vulnerable and defenseless
since they are unable to witness procedures that
are being performed on them during surgery and, thus, cannot
speak up or protect themselves when nurses, doctors, or technicians
violate the wishes or boundaries articulated by the patient.
Another issue patients face is that many are routinely and unnecessarily
stripped naked for surgeries at some medical facilities. For
example, a patient had his gown and underwear removed after
he was put under anesthesia for surgery on his hand. Another
patient was horrified to learn that hospital staff had removed
the disposable underwear they had given him and shaved his groin
and lower abdomen while he was sedated for a venous ablation
procedure that involved the surgeon making incisions around
the knee only. He was also livid to learn afterwards that his
procedure is more commonly performed in an office setting with
a local anesthetic instead of in an operating room with sedation.
So he was unnecessarily subjected to the most expensive and
traumatic experience possible. Beyond this man enduring the
damage caused by non-consensual genital exposure and contact,
numerous patients have been sexually abused when their private
parts were videotaped or photographed by medical professionals
they thought they could trust. Check out Surgery
Patient Violations on Medical Patient Modesty's
website for news articles documenting accounts of patients suffering
abuse while under anesthesia.
Types of Anesthesia / Sedation
- General anesthesia –
Patients are typically given a combination of medications
through a mask or intravenous (IV) needle. This will render
the patient temporarily unconscious and unable to remember
the surgery. This type of anesthesia also paralyzes a patient’s
muscles, including those used for breathing. For this reason,
a patient will require a ventilator until the surgery is completed
and is given medications to reverse the effect of the anesthesia.
This is the most risky type of anesthesia
because it can cause many different complications, such as
temporary or permanent throat and brain damage, and lead to
cardiac arrest, stroke, etc. Procedures performed using general
anesthesia could cost $15,000 or more than local anesthesia
in some cases.
- Conscious Sedation or Managed Anesthesia
Care – This type of sedation is also referred
as “twilight sleep.” It’s commonly used
for procedures such as colonoscopy and is administered through
an IV to render a patient sleepy and relaxed. While a patient
may be heavily sedated, he or she will not need assistance
with breathing unlike general anesthesia. An anesthesiologist
has to be present to monitor vital signs to ensure the patient
is stable. A patient is somewhat awake during surgery but
is often unable to speak until the drugs wear off, which will
sometimes take as little as ten minutes depending on the doses
administered. Some sedatives that are used include Versed
and Propofol (a dangerous drug that killed Michael Jackson).
Some patients are sedated before they are put under anesthesia
to relieve their anxiety or even to silence them. For example,
one lady made it very clear that she wanted an all-female
team for her hysterectomy, but when she spoke up, a male anesthesiologist
sedated her with Versed so she could not object to him and
other males being present for her surgery. Another lady was
deceived by her female gynecologist who ensured her that she
would be awake for a hysteroscopy. She was given Propofol
that left her too sedated to speak up against the male anesthetist
who was present, even though the practice was advertised as
an all-female staffed practice. The lady suffers from PTSD
because of her horrible experience and shared that she would
have never consented to Propofol if she had known it would
have been given to her. One man received literature stating
that sedation would render him relaxed and/or sleepy. Yet,
he was completely incapacitated during the procedure and does
not remember anything about it. We
do not recommend sedation because it allows medical providers
to perform procedures on patients without their consent, such
as pelvic exams, unnecessary shaving of the groin / pubic
area, allowing medical professionals of the opposite sex to
be present for intimate procedures, and unnecessary exposure
of private parts. Check out the article, Sedation,
Versed, and Your Procedure.
- Regional anesthesia
– This type of anesthesia involves numbing only a larger
part of the body such as abdomen, knee, and hip being operated
on. More orthopedic surgeries such as knee replacement surgeries
utilize peripheral nerve blocks, a type of regional anesthesia
that last longer than local anesthesia. Epidurals (spinal
blocks) is another example of a regional anesthesia. Epidurals
and spinal blocks are commonly used for abdominal surgeries
such as C-Sections. Some risks of spinal blocks include seizures,
infection in the spine, difficulty in urinating, and nerve
damage. Due to these risks, it is best to avoid those types
of blocks whenever possible.
- Local anesthesia
– Only a small section of the patient's body such as
hand is numbed without rendering the patient unconscious.
This type of anesthesia is less risky and much cheaper. The
recovery is much quicker and most patients can even drive
home afterwards. Surgeries with local anesthesia are often
50% less than general anesthesia.
Unnecessary Breast / Genital Exposure
Medical professionals rarely discuss their alleged
need to conduct intimate procedures such as pelvic exams, urinary
catheters, shaving of pubic / groin area, etc. Nor do they mention
exposing patients’ private parts, oftentimes to medical
personnel of the opposite sex, before, during, and after surgery.
Many patients would not consent to surgeries if they were aware
of these issues.
Some hospitals still have a ridiculous policy
that requires patients to remove underwear
for all surgeries. One lady who was considering having a rhinoplasty
walked out of a hospital when she was told that she would have
to remove her underwear for surgery on her nose.
At some hospitals, patient gowns are routinely
removed or pulled up as soon as he or she enters the operating
room. If a patient is not wearing surgery shorts and/or
underwear, the genitals will likely be exposed. Likewise,
if a female patient does not have a surgery-specific bra or
other covering, her breasts could be unnecessarily exposed.
There are certain procedures where regular underwear
cannot be worn, but there are some special garments that can
be used instead. Examples include:
1) During a colonoscopy or
rectal surgery specially designed shorts can be worn exposing
only part of the buttocks. Boxer shorts can be worn backwards.
Also, a male patient could wear a jock strap to secure his genitals.
2) Patients who undergo hip surgery, cardiac
catheterizations in the groin, and other different types of
surgeries that require access to the groin, hip, or part of
the back such as kidney surgery can use the COVR
Medical garments invented by a caring orthopedic surgeon,
Dr. Bruce Levy.
Tips To Consider Before Having Surgery
1) Make sure that surgery is
absolutely necessary. Do your own research to see if it supports
the doctor’s recommendation. Get at least a second opinion
and examine all potential risks of the surgery. Also, research
alternative non-surgical treatments.
not trust the reviews about the surgeon on the hospital’s
web site because they are often not a true reflection of patient
experiences since hospitals often remove bad reviews. Be aware
that reviews on Google and other web sites could be untrue because
sometimes medical facilities have their staff post positive
assessments. Also, do not rely on advertisements about doctors.
for local or regional anesthesia without sedation
if possible. Search for a doctor willing to conduct surgical
procedures while you are awake, even if you have to travel farther.
One man traveled from Maine to Utah to use a doctor who performs
the UroLift procedure under local anesthesia.
4) Walk away from a hospital
and outpatient surgery center if they have a no-underwear policy
and dismiss your concerns about modesty.
5) Insist that you have a personal advocate
not employed by the hospital, such as your spouse, present for
your surgery, with you. This is especially important if you
will be sedated or under general anesthesia and if your private
parts will be exposed. You need someone to ensure that no one
of the opposite sex enters the operating room as the surgery
is taking place. One lady found a female gynecologist and a
hospital in Minnesota that allowed her husband to be present
for her hysterectomy. Also, it would be wise to have a personal
advocate present if you require an IV to ensure they do not
put any sedatives in your IV such as Versed or Propofol without
your knowledge or consent.
6) Read all consent forms very carefully and
mark out anything you are uncomfortable with. Don’t let
anybody rush you into signing consent forms. Ask if you can
get the consent form at least one day before the surgery and
demand copies of any forms you sign.
7) Ask that they not give you any opioids since
they have bad side effects such as nausea, addiction from possible
misuse, and urinary retention that could require a urinary catheter.
Suing For Injuries or Death Related To Surgeries:
Many people never file law suits against doctors
or hospitals when they or their loved ones have been injured
or killed by negligent surgeons because they believe it would
be too expensive to hire an attorney. They don’t
realize medical malpractice law firms work on a contingency
basis. Also, some people believe it is a hassle to
sue or that it could worsen their grief. Indeed, a law suit
won’t bring a loved one back, but it could force a surgeon
or hospital to make much-needed improvements so another family
would not have to experience a similar tragedy. Some Christians
have the misconception that it is wrong to sue because of this
verse: 1 Corinthians 6:1-8. However, this verse is talking about
trivial matters with other believers (mainly in church).Wrongful
death or personal injury cases are not trivial matters that
cannot be resolved in a church.
Failing to file law suits allows doctors and
hospitals to escape responsibility for negligence, and, thus,
enables them to continue their flippant and harmful behavior.
We encourage families or patients to seek out a malpractice
law firm if they have been impacted by injuries or death due
to Check out:
Underwear Removal For Surgeries
Versed, and Your Procedure
Concerns for Procedures and Surgeries
You Should Have a Personal Advocate For Surgery?
and Your Modesty
and Your Modesty - Youtube Video
Under the Knife, With Eyes and Ears Wide Open
My Surgeon Cut Into My Knee
Before Nerve Block Increases Risks, Not Pain Relief
nerve block anesthesia better for surgery?
Hidden Dangers of Going Under