Many popular surgeries are ineffective and are no better than a placebo

When you take a pharmaceutical drug, you expect it to have undergone rigorous testing to ensure that it’s safe and effective. You probably have the same expectations for when you’re going under the knife. But surgeries aren’t actually required to face that same level of scrutiny. As Dr. Chuck Dinerstein, Medical Director at the American Council on Science and Health, explained: “A new therapy involving a medication requires the approval of the FDA, and that requires evidence that the new drug is at least “non-inferior” to what is already available. Not so for a new surgical technique or device. For my surgical brethren, all we need is a good idea and our “can do” attitude takes over, and we try out a new technique, instrument or operation. Once the novel surgical “treatment” is being used, then we can do those studies, “non-inferior” may be more our opinion than a statistical finding.” So, in a sense, surgeries can be trusted as much as surgeons’ and anatomists’ expertise can be…