US Cataract Surgery is a Bargain
The US takes a rap for having the most expensive healthcare in the world. Sometimes countries spend far less and get equal, if not better, outcomes. One area that does NOT seem to follow this pattern is cataract surgery. The US has costs near the bottom of most countries with outstanding results. Thanks mainly to the huge cuts that Medicare and Medicaid have enacted on cataract surgery as well as the competition that surgery centers have dealt to hospitals. Surgeon have aggressively adopted innovation to improve outcomes and efficiency. It is a model for other areas of medicine.
Surgery – The Ultimate Placebo
As it turns our sham surgery is often as successful as real surgery.
Arthroscopic knee surgery was no better than the sham surgery for the treatment of degenerative changes involving the meniscus of the knee.
Vertebroplasty may also not be any better than the sham for treating low back problems.
The placebo effect of invasive procedures is so strong that sham injections were used in the evaluation of VEGF inhibitors in the treatment of wet macular degeneration. In this case the treatment performed better than the sham.
The question we must ask ourselves is why are surgeons still preforming surgeries that have proven to be no better than the sham? Perhaps they do not trust published research. If so, they may have good reason. A high proportion of research papers have been shown to have critical data and statistical errors in addition to outright fraud.