LONDON (Reuters): In a shocking announcement, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the UK Department of Health, and the Canadian Ministry of Health have all agreed to suspend recommendations for laparoscopic cholecystectomy, a minimally-invasive removal of the gallbladder that is among the most common procedures performed worldwide. US Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius quoted the enormous number of patients seriously injured and killed by this procedure each year as the reason for withdrawing their recommendation, and she demanded more research into why so many people have this operation performed.
"In the United States alone," Ms. Sebelius reported to a joint session of congress last week, "there are approximately twenty million people living with gallstones. There is only about a 20% chance of these patients developing gallstone pain over a 20 year period, yet 500-600,000 people still have their gallbladders surgically removed each year in the US. Every one of those patients is at risk of hemorrhage, infection, bile duct injuries, blood clots, and even death."
Indeed, statistics show that up to 15% of patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy, which was only first done in 1985, are converted to the "open" technique, which is the old-fashioned procedure and involves a much larger incision, slicing across the abdominal muscles and causing much more pain and an increased risk of bleeding and wound problems.
In addition to bleeding and infection, up to 3 in 1000 patients undergoing this incredibly dangerous surgery will accidentally have their main bile duct accidentally torn, cut, or clipped, and these injuries are often not identified until days after the surgery. Almost 1 in 500 have a hole punctured in their stomach, colon, or small intestine, and unbelievably the overall complication rate is as high as 1 in 20. As many as 1 in 250 undergoing the procedure die due to complications, and if you happen to be lucky enough to survive, you have a 40% chance of developing bloating, abdominal pain, and indigestion, possibly permanently, after surgery.
"These injuries and deaths could all be prevented if people would just opt to live with their gallstone pain," Canadian Minister of Health Rona Ambrose told Reuters yesterday. "Surgery just shouldn't be necessary. I've heard a few anecdotes of people who read a story on Natural News and bought some kind of magic potion on Amazon or something which promises to flush the body of toxins and gallstones and other evil humours. Surely this is a better option than letting sadistic surgeons cut you open and remove an organ. These people were trained by barbers as recently as last century! It's truly barbaric."
UK Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt went even further, stating "More investigation into the dangerous and lethal practice of surgery is needed. We cannot in good conscience recommend anyone have this surgery, and possibly any surgery, until we can be sure that no one will ever again suffer a complication of any kind. To my knowledge there has never been a double-blinded study done on gallstones, and until that is done we feel the practice should be stopped.
Sibelius, Ambrose, and Hunt all suggested trusting a random website which touts the healing power of cilantro and turmeric than some doctor who spent 20 years getting educated in the cutting-edge science of healing people.