by: Dr. Craig A. Maxwell
Have you been a victim of unnecessary surgery? Millions have. As soon as a doctor gets into medical school, he is taught more about how to prescribe drugs and surgery than about preventative care and alternative options. Below is a list of the top 7 often unnecessary surgeries performed and what you can do to treat their associated conditions naturally.
7 Often Unnecessary Surgeries That Could Harm Your Health
- Thyroid Surgery For Hyperthyroidism
Common reasons for thyroid removal (thyroidectomy) include Grave’s disease and hyperthyroidism. Partial or complete removal of the thyroid gland can lead to permanent hypothyroidism and dependency on thyroid hormones. If your doctor has suggested partial or complete thyroid removal for your condition, first consider your alternative options.
Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder characterized by the inability to digest the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye (called gluten), is a commonly-overlooked cause of autoimmune thyroid disease.
If you’ve been diagnosed with autoimmune thyroid disease, thyroid removal isn’t your only option. Making dietary changes can be your key to solving thyroid problems without any need to go under the knife.
For my patients with thyroid conditions, I recommend a whole-food, primarily organic and gluten free diet. Food such as organic produce, nuts, seeds, beans, meat, poultry, fish, and healthy fats can help reduce inflammation and stop your immune system from attacking your thyroid.
If you’re concerned about adding goitrogens to your diet, you’ll be happy to know that I have never in my 30 years of practice had trouble controlling thyroid levels due to goitrogenic foods. As a matter of fact, I strongly recommend foods that are called goitrogenic to my patients with thyroid disease. The health benefits of these foods are too many to cut them from your diet!
In addition to a healing, anti-inflammatory diet, I also recommend a high-quality multivitamin, a magnesium supplement, and a natural thyroid support formula. This combination may stabilize your thyroid and completely eliminate your need for unnecessary surgery.
- Bariatric Surgery
It is estimated that over 200,000 bariatric surgeries are performed each year. For many people, this surgery is unnecessary. Bariatric surgery is often over-prescribed and carries with it many risks. One in two hundred people die during or shortly after the procedure. Side effects of this surgery include, but aren’t limited to, surgical site infection, intestinal leakage, gallstones, and neurological dysfunction due to nutritional deficiencies, lactic acidosis, and rapid fat metabolism.
With obesity now being classified as a disease, it is easy to understand why such drastic measures are being taken in the effort to lose weight. Unfortunately, weight loss surgery is rarely the best solution. It should only be used as a last resort when all other measures have been exhausted.
The first thing I tell patients trying to lose weight is this: “It’s not your fault.” There is so much conflicting information out there about which diet is best or what pill works that it’s easy to get confused. You just can’t understand how you could lose weight on a pre-packaged meal plan or a diet pill only to gain it all back and then some months later.
These marketing campaigns are designed primarily to give false hope. If any of the products they advertised actually worked, with as many people are on them, we’d be a pretty thin and healthy nation.
The second thing I tell my patients hoping to lose weight and keep it off is to get back to basics. Slowly remove junk food from your diet and replace it with whole, organic foods like fruit, vegetables, nuts, nut butters, hummus, beans, meat, poultry, fish, and the type of fat your body craves, such as butter and coconut oil.
Out of the 750,000 hysterectomies performed each year, over 70% may be medically unnecessary. 2,500 of these women die from complications from the surgery. Bleeding, nerve injury, chronic infection, and lack of libido are common side effects of complete uterine removal.
Women are often prescribed hysterectomies because of uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and hyperplasia. Women often develop these conditions due to birth control pills, IUDs, strict vegan diets, and highly-processed foods. Exposure to parabens, BPA, and phthalates are other common causes. If you struggle with any of these conditions or know someone who does, there are other options available to you.
For my patients with these gynecological conditions, I recommend a reduction in all estrogenic substances, the use of organic feminine products, and an anti-inflammatory diet with a heavy dose of leafy green vegetables and flaxseed. Beer drinkers may want to consider switching to wine as it is the least estrogenic alcoholic beverage.
It is also important to note that many women with benign fibroid tumors also have undiagnosed thyroid disease.
- Back Surgery
Oftentimes, back, neck or shoulder surgery is the first treatment recommended to correct herniated disc and other complications. If your doctor has recommended surgery, you have plenty of other options. Ask your doctor to prescribe physical therapy first. This way, you’ll have time to heal and explore some alternative options. Chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage, an anti-inflammatory diet, and supplements can all significantly reduce or eliminate pain so you won’t have to go under the knife.
- Cesarean Section
In the United States, 32% of women deliver by cesarean section when 10-15% is the accepted norm in most countries. In certain cases, delivery by C-section is warranted. For example, women with placental problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, HIV, or genital herpes should be delivered by cesarean. In the case of multiples, birth defects, breach, and a child that is too big for vaginal delivery, C-section is also recommended.
If C-section is chosen as a way to avoid the pain of childbirth, the health of the child is at stake. Infants are exposed to healthy microflora in the mother’s vaginal tract during delivery. Children born by cesarean are at increased risk for both environmental and food allergies.
For women who are concerned about their ability to bear the discomfort of childbirth, there is The Bradley Method. The Bradley Method was developed in the 1940s by Dr. Robert Bradley. It’s a 12-week program that focuses on nutrition, exercise, relaxation techniques, and coaching for the partner. 90% of parents who choose this method report a relaxed, spontaneous natural delivery.
- Pacemaker Surgery
Pacemakers are often implanted in patients for different reasons. One common reason is bradycardia, a condition that slows or stops signals that cause your heart to beat properly. Of the 400,000 individuals implanted with pacemakers each year, many studies reveal that 1/3 of them may be unnecessary. Bradycardia is often caused by heart disease, hypothyroidism, electrolyte imbalance, beta-blockers, antiarrhythmics, excessive potassium in the blood, and digoxin.
Pacemaker insertion has been associated with infection, collapsed lung, and septicemia. Not to mention the fact most pacemakers last only 8-10 years, which guarantees you’ll be back on the operating table in as much time if you outlive the device.
Before you have surgery to have a pacemaker implanted, talk with your doctor to see if an underlying medical condition or a medication could be causing your symptoms. Also, consider a second opinion.
- Preventative Mastectomy
Earlier this year, Angelina Jolie had both of her breasts removed because she was told she had a genetic mutation that would put her at increased risk for breast cancer. What you may not have heard is that out of all the breast cancer diagnoses made each year, only 2 percent of them are caused by these abnormalities.
The shocking truth about breast cancer is most incidents of breast cancer are caused by environmental factors. Chronic exposure to pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, and mercury increase your risk for the development of multiple forms of cancer, including breast cancer.
If you’re thinking of having a double mastectomy or your doctor has recommended one even if you don’t have breast cancer, seek a second opinion. Making dietary and lifestyle changes now can greatly reduce your risk without ever having to disfigure your body.
What to Do When Your Doctor Recommends Surgery
If your doctor recommends surgery as the preferred method of treatment for any non-emergency condition you have, I recommend getting a second opinion.
Also, do your own research and become your own health advocate. Talking to others who’ve had the surgery you’re thinking of getting beforehand can help you to better understand the pros and cons.
I am available for private consultations. Please feel free to ask me any medical question. I will reply at no cost to you. If I feel I am able to help you, I will be glad to accept you as a client.
Have you been a victim of unnecessary surgery? Share in the comments below.