A new USAToday roundup identified six common surgeries that are often done unnecessarily.
The surgeries include:
- Cardiac angioplasty and stents. A 2011 study found were performed without medical necessity 12 percent of the time.
- Cardiac pacemakers. Researchers found no medical evidence to install the devices in more than 22 percent of patients, a 2011 study said.
- Back surgery and spinal fusion. Up to 17 percent of surgeries may be unnecessary, research shows.
- Hysterectomy surgery. A study from 2000 showed that hysterectomy surgery, in which the uterus is surgically removed, was recommended inappropriately 70 percent of the time.
- Hip and knee replacements. A study of patients in Washington state found that patients may not be receiving enough information about hip and knee replacements. Patients who received decision aids with information on joint replacements and alternative treatments had 26 percent fewer hip replacements and 38 percent fewer knee replacements.
- Cesarean sections. Researchers found that cesarean rates varied widely across hospitals in the United States.