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Good Operations, Bad Operations: The People's Medical Society's Guide to Surgery

Good Operations, Bad Operations: The People's Medical Society's Guide to Surgery

by Charles B. Inlander, People's Medical Society Staff

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Inlander ( Medicine on Trial ), a lecturer at Yale Medical School, is CEO of the People's Medical Society, a national consumer health organization. Here he turns his experience as a consumer health advocate to the subject of surgery, looking in detail at dozens of procedures, and offering general advice as well. The book is invaluable: Inlander stands by our side, yet he knows much more than a layman, and wants to share instead of hoard the goods. He's brisk, direct and conscientious, framing areas of information within questions that we might very well ask: ``What is the procedure?,'' ``What condition does the procedure treat?,'' ``Who performs the procedure?'' and ``Is this the most appropriate procedure for the condition?'' The procedures themselves range from toe amputation to cytoscopy, all itemized systematically. Introductory discussions tackle the largest questions, such as choosing a surgeon in the first place; the purviews of medical specialists, and which might best suit you; the issue of unnecessary surgery; and risks undergone in surgery. This book would be useful, eventually, on almost anyone's shelf. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Inlander, author or coauthor of numerous medical books, including Medicine on Trial ( LJ 5/1/88), Getting the Most for Your Medical Dollar ( LJ 1/91), and Take This Book to the Hospital with You ( LJ 1/91), and the staff of the People's Medical Society have compiled a general consumer guide to 100 diagnostic and surgical procedures most commonly performed in the United States. Its stated aim is to empower consumers in their own healthcare decision-making by providing them with information they may (or may not) get from their medical providers. Short introductory chapters discuss how to choose a surgeon, the different types of medical specialists, surgical settings (i.e., inpatient and outpatient), and unnecessary surgery. Part 2 describes how each procedure is performed and for what reasons and offers information on morbidity and mortality rates, possible complications, alternatives, and controversies, if any. The language is clear, and technical terms are highlighted and explained in lay language in a glossary that follows in Part 3. References from peer-reviewed journals are listed for each procedure. One caveat: the age of numerous citations; a few go back as far as the mid-1960s. Most were published from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s; the latest is 1991. The authors selected these studies ``because medical research is a building process wherein one step leads to another.'' Maybe, but what was once held as scientific fact and repeated as gospel in subsequent studies may be turned on its head tomorrow. Another weakness is that the book has failed to include such recent surgical innovations as transeophageal echocardiography. On the whole, though, Inlander and staff have done a good job, and their guide will help any motivated consumer make an informed choice. Recommended for consumer health collections.-- Anne C. Tomlin, Auburn Memorial Hosp. Lib., N.Y.
Inlander and the staff of the People's Medical Society, a leading national consumer health organization, give potential patients the information necessary to understand the risks and benefits of 100 of the most commonly performed surgical procedures. The procedures are listed alphabetically, by both medical and lay title, and ranked according to the frequency with which they are performed, from cesarean section (1) to urethral catheterization (100). Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Penguin Publishing Group
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Product dimensions:
20.00(w) x 20.00(h) x 20.00(d)

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