En español | Any surgery is dangerous. The body considers an operation a serious insult, and even some minor procedures come with major risks, such as bleeding, blood clots, infections, and damage to other organs. So it's essential to know if surgery is necessary — or beneficial.
The four operations discussed on the following pages are overperformed for a variety of reasons: Some are moneymakers for hospitals and doctors, others are expedient, and still others seem to work, at least in the short term. But evidence shows that all have questionable long-term outcomes for treating certain conditions, and some may even cause harm. Here's what to do if your doctor recommends one of them.