Hallie Levine
August 30, 2022

Spinal fusion and stenting are two surgeries that are performed too often. Here’s what to know.

Stents for heart disease. Spinal fusion for back pain. Vena cava filters for blood clots. Vertebroplasty for osteoporosis. A recent report from the Lown Institute, a nonprofit that focuses on improving healthcare, found that during the pandemic year of 2020, adults on Medicare received 106,474 overused or unnecessary surgeries or procedures—and those were near the top of the list.
According to the Lown Institute, overuse, or low-value care, “refers to medical services that offer little to no clinical benefit or are more likely to harm patients than help them.”
“It’s very easy for doctors and patients to go down the path of doing a medical procedure because it seems like, in theory, it would be safer and better, but that’s not always the case,” says Vikas Saini, MD, a cardiologist and president of the institute. “More medical care isn’t necessarily always better, especially for older adults.”
Given this, it may be helpful to know more about overused procedures so that you can have productive conversations if your doctor recommends one. Here’s a spotlight on the four mentioned previously. (For info on others, see the Lown Institute’s full report.)

Read more: https://www.consumerreports.org/heal...y-a3617593905/