Recently, I came across a disturbing article about a 22-year-old semi-professional baseball player named Jonathan Stelly who was bullied into having unnecessary pacemaker surgery. After an unusual angiogram, he was informed he needed to get this surgery as soon as possible or risk certain death. When he questioned the recommendation, his nurse practitioner quipped, “You want to live to see 30? You’re going to have this done.”
There were no positive X-Rays and nothing at all to indicate the medical necessity of a perfectly healthy 22-year-old man being implanted with a pacemaker. After his surgery, he was unable to play professional ball or even join the military as he’d once hoped. In the end, it turned out he never needed the pacemaker, just a pill to control his blood pressure.
A 2011 study published in the American Medical Association showed that in 22.5% of cases of pacemakers found no medical evidence to support the installation of these devices.
Why Young People are Often Bullied into Unnecessary Surgery
Unfortunately, Jonathan’s story is not unique. Young people are often bullied into unnecessary surgery because they are inexperienced. They see doctors as educated authority figures that should be respected and obeyed.
In short, they’re easy targets.
A friend of mine was in a car accident at 24 years of age and ended up with a herniated disc. When she went to the doctor, she was told she needed surgery. When she dared to ask about her alternative options, the doctor became angry and defensive, acting like an offended parent whose child had mouthed off.
He said, “Oh, you will have the surgery. It will just get worse and worse until you have no choice.” He almost seemed to take a perverse pleasure in saying it like that. In acting like a bully instead of an objective medical professional.
Most Common Unnecessary Surgeries Performed Each Year
The five surgeries listed below are the most common unnecessary surgeries performed on younger people each year:
- Thyroid Surgery
Autoimmune thyroid disease is a common condition among young children and women. Oftentimes, a thyroidectomy is one of the first suggestions a doctor will make to “treat” someone who has a goiter. As I explained in an earlier article, surgery is such a foolish choice for autoimmune disease. Cutting out a part of the body the immune system is attacking does nothing to treat the underlying cause.
A common cause of thyroid disease is celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease whereby the immune system makes antibodies against the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. This protein is called gluten. Oftentimes, removal of the offending protein from the diet is enough to treat the symptoms of thyroid disease and put it into remission.
Another cause of autoimmune thyroid disease is endocrine-disrupting chemicals in your environment. These chemicals include the BPA, parabens, phthalates, dioxin, and pesticides found in plastic bottles, cosmetics, and feminine care products.
If you’ve been told you need thyroid surgery, talk with an open-minded doctor or a dietitian about trying a gluten-free diet for 2-3 months. Also, remove as many of the endocrine-disrupting chemicals from your surroundings as possible.
- Back and Neck Surgery
Car accidents often plague younger people because they’re still getting used to the operation of a motor vehicle. Furthermore, the brain and nervous system isn’t fully developed until a young adult reaches 22 years of age. This can leave them more vulnerable to a wide variety of accidents.
Oftentimes, doctors are quick to recommend back and/or neck surgery to repair a herniated disc when this should be considered a last-resort option. As I mentioned above, having a doctor tell you that you may suffer with chronic pain for life or you have “no choice” but to get surgery, you may just be frightened enough to do it.
Physical therapy, chiropractic care, yoga, natural supplements, and an anti-inflammatory diet can help heal your body without surgery. However, many young people are not exposed to these alternative options. They’re used to going to their pediatrician, taking drugs, and getting surgery. It’s only natural that this tendency would carry into young adulthood.
If you’ve been in a car accident or similar accident that has done damage to your neck, surgery isn’t your only option. Neither is staying drugged on painkillers for the rest of your life. At the end of this article, I will list some alternative ways to heal your body and avoid expensive and potentially-dangerous surgery.
- Preventative Mastectomy
Preventative mastectomy is one of the most disturbing new unnecessary surgeries young patients are now being frightened and/or bullied into. Ever since Angelina Jolie had both of her breasts removed due to a defective gene that might cause her to develop breast cancer, more and more young women are being coerced into the surgery.
Imagine being in your early-to-mid twenties and finding out through genetic testing that you have one defective gene. Your doctor tells you that you have to have both breasts lobbed off immediately or risk dying. What would you be tempted to do?
There is no disputing that breast cancer is a real threat to women but for a woman to have both breasts removed simply as a precaution is, in my opinion, unconscionable. If you’ve done genetic testing and have been told you need this surgery simply because you are predisposed for cancer, don’t do it.
You are young enough to educate yourself on the dietary and lifestyle changes you can make right now to significantly reduce your risk of developing cancer.
- Cesarean Section
In a recent article, I explained how cesarean sections are being used excessively among young, healthy women simply for the purposes of convenience. This is truly unfortunate because a C-section can be harmful to both mother and child. Studies have confirmed that over 80% of children born via cesarean section are at risk for obesity and this surgery leaves mothers at a startling 6 times greater risk for postpartum depression.
In this 21st century world, the younger generation is not exposed to enough information about natural childbirth. Few mothers birth at home anymore (although there has been a re-emerging movement over the past few years) and essential wisdom about the natural process of having a child has been lost to the annals of history.
Expectant mothers just go to the doctor and everything is handled cleanly and efficiently. If a doctor says it’s best to have a C-section, the idea of not having to go through the pain of childbirth and being able to deliver on a specific day might sound quite appealing.
If you’re an expectant mother, don’t allow your doctor to convince you that a cesarean section is necessary unless you have a medical condition that prevents you from delivering naturally.
- Bariatric Surgery
In August of 2013, obesity was officially classified as a disease. It is incredible to think that over two-thirds of the American population is now considered morbidly obese, millions whom are children and teenagers. Medical websites claim that having bariatric surgery will help boost a teenager’s confidence and decrease his likelihood of diabetes. But there are many reasons for teenagers and their parents to avoid this surgery at all costs.
Bariatric surgery should only be considered a last resort for someone who would otherwise die without it. The bodies and brains of teenagers are still growing and developing. This is the time to teach and reinforce good habits and a healthy diet. If surgery is the first resort, not only will the child or young adult possibly face a lifetime of health problems, he or she will never learn how to use food in a healthy way.
If you or your teenager has been told if bariatric surgery is not performed, horrible health consequences will result, take only part of that advice. Understand that maintaining a high body mass index (BMI) is, indeed, bad for your health. Seek a second opinion from a nutritionist or a physician who focuses on preventative care.
This way, you can avoid the pitfalls of risky surgery and learn how to get healthier in a more holistic way.
If your doctor has told you that you need surgery, get a second and third opinion. Talk with your family, friends, and co-workers. Do research online. The more information you have, the more options you have. Sometimes going under the knife is inevitable and completely necessary for your health. If you need it, you do.
The important thing to know is you have a choice. Just because someone is standing over you with a lab coat and a stern expression doesn’t mean you have to do exactly what they say unless it’s a life or death situation.
Remember: It’s your body. It’s your life.
Natural Alternatives to Dangerous Surgery
Surgery is not always the answer, and in many cases is completely unnecessary. In today’s issue we covered several ailments and conditions where patients are bullied into surgery.
If you are currently suffering from any of the conditions mentioned above we have provided a list of natural alternatives. Please check them out. They may provide a natural and effective way for you to avoid surgery.