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Aggressive medical procedures: necessary or heavy-handed?

Many health problems benefit from - and even demand - an aggressive approach to treatment. Thankfully, advances in the medical and technological fields have made this possible, contributing to exciting and valuable developments in health care.

However, the fact that certain treatments and care solutions are available does not mean they are appropriate for every case. Doctors are expected to review the options available and help patients make decisions that are in their best interests. Unfortunately, doctors can decide (or even be encouraged) to favor new, easy and expensive solutions over other more traditional solutions that may not be as glamorous - or effective.

For instance, the number of patients receiving weight-loss surgery has skyrocketed in recent years. As exciting as it may be that a surgical stapling, binding or insertion of a tube could help a person lose and control their weight, the fact is these are serious, heavy-handed approaches to weight loss that many would consider last resorts.

However, as noted in this New York Times opinion article, the popularity of these procedures is only growing, thanks in part to doctors who opt for recommending surgery instead of options like low-carbohydrate diets.

One troubling part is that there is research suggesting methods like low-carb diets are just effective, if not more so, when compared to surgery for treating conditions like diabetes. But instead of recommending these options, doctors are jumping right to surgery as an easy-fix to serious health problems.

Some in the medical community argue that weight-loss surgeries, unless used as a last resort, can be of detriment to patients because they aren't always effective and they are very expensive. Further, any surgical procedure has the potential to result in serious complications that could jeopardize a patient's health, recovery and life.

Failing to consider these risks and share them with patients before recommending surgery can be a costly and devastating mistake by doctors. Patients depend on doctors to help them make decisions about their health care; if patients are misled or deceived with regard to their care options, they can suffer painful and catastrophic consequences of unnecessary or heavy-handed care.

If this sounds like a situation you or a loved one has experienced, you would be wise to discuss your case with an attorney familiar with pursuing medical malpractice claims in New York.

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