Operation rates in this country are double those in England and Wales. If you are hospitalized, the chances you will wind up on the operating table are fifty-fifty (nearly twice as high as in Sweden).
Many physicians look upon surgeons as the only members of their profession who can actually “cure” their patients. More surgery, they feel, means less disease and fewer deaths.
“More surgery,” asserts Dr. John Bunker, “means more deaths.” Bunker is a Harvard professor and has spent more time studying surgery and surgeons than probably anyone else. Those locales, he points out, where operation rates are highest, also have higher death rates. Indeed, Bunker points out that death rates in the United States are much higher—under age sixty-five—than in most other developed nations. He raises the possibility that these excess deaths may be due to our national love for surgery.
13.1 Risks of Surgery
All surgery carries some element of risk. A so-called “routine” D and C can result in a postoperative uterine inflammation and impairment. The surgeon doing a tonsilectomy may accidentally perforate the internal carotid artery and be faced with a rapidly extinguishing patient.
Below are some of the most common causes of death during and immediately after surgery:
- Uncontrolled hemorrhage
- Inflammation and tissue damage
- Metabolic disorders (abnormal blood sodium, potassium, sugar, etc.)
- Body temperature disorders
The most overdone operations include:
- Hemorrhoid repair (hemorrhoidectomy)
- Tonsillectomy (with or without adenoidectomy)
- D and C (dilation and curettage of uterus)
- Hysterectomy (removal of uterus and, usually, ovaries)
- Varicose vein removal
- Radical mastectomy (removal of breast and surrounding tissue)
You should not go to a general surgeon (or a surgical specialist) for your primary medical care if you feel that you must see a physician. Surgeons tend to have a way of finding things which require surgery. (It is probably no accident that doctors in general, who have the most contact with surgeons, also undergo the most surgery!) On the other hand, “medical men” (internists, family practice specialists, pediatricians, etc.) tend to try to avoid surgery, if possible.
In general, the risk of surgery is less if general anesthesia can be avoided. Many surgical procedures usually done under general anesthesia can be done under another type. You should seriously investigate these other types of anesthesia, in order to lessen the risk of surgery.
You should make certain that your anesthesia will be done by a board-certified anesthesiologist. An anesthesiologist is a doctor who is a specialist in anesthesia. It is his or her job (usually with the surgeon) to select the most appropriate type of anesthesia to be used. During surgery he is also responsible for maintaining all the body’s vital functions. In the United States, less than hall of all anesthesia is administered by a physician anesthesiologist.
13.2 Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are occasional aftermaths of surgery. General anesthesia may, at times, result in transient stomach upsets. Other causes may be related to the operation itself (if it is an abdominal procedure, for example) and reactions to certain medications. The best solution is to fast until hunger returns and nausea is no longer present.
In some cases a specific cause can be found and eliminated. This is particularly true when a drug is the offender. If you find that after receiving your pain medication, you become nauseated, tell your doctor or simply refuse that medication.
Even those who don’t develop actual nausea and vomiting postoperatively may not feel like eating for a few days. A surgical experience dampens the appetite. Here, again, fasting is essential until hunger returns.
The following is the nonsense advice given by Drs. Ronald Gotts and Arthur Kaufman (The People’s Hospital Book). It exemplifies the approach taken by most hospitals and physicians.
“If you have no dietary restrictions, a favorite delicacy—an ice cream sundae, a milkshake, pizza, or escargots—brougt in by a friend or relative may revitalize a temporary sluggish appetite. Another remedy tor that no-taste-for-food feeling is a little wine or cocktail before dinner. Many hospitals have wine or hard liquor available. They can be ordered by the physician as a predinner appetite stimulant or a bedtime sedative.”
They are advocating the same foods and poisons that resulted in sickness in the first place. It is pure nonsense and demonstrates that any dietary advice given by hospital physicians is best ignored. Either fast or have someone bring in your fruits and vegetables.
13.4 Most Common Operations—Are They Necessary?
Appendectomy – This operation is performed if your appendix becomes inflamed. Appendicitis was a condition unknown to medicine even in the late 1890s. Diagnosed then as “indigestion,” “typhilitis,” and “bowel obstruction,” some patients died, most likely from heroic drugging. Yet many seemed to survive and do remarkably well without the surgeon’s interference.
As many as one-third of the appendices removed today are not inflamed at all. Many of the remainder are inflamed due to improper dietary habits. All would recover if allowed to rest and fast. Appendicitis is not a death-threatening situation.
Breast Surgery – If there is a lump in the breast, most physicians feel that the lump must come out to see if it is malignant. They state that the removal of even benign lumps is considered the most prudent approach, because there is some uncertainty about whether or not benign tumors can become malignant. Don’t let anyone talk you ‘into this surgery. Many thousands of people have had tumors autolyzed during a fast or by merely following a more healthful lifestyle.
Cataract Extraction – A cataract operation is performed if the lens of your eye has become opaque, causing a clouding of vision. A cataract is not a growth or a tumor, but the result of a chemical change in the protein of the lens that prevents light rays from passing through. Cataract surgery is the most common eye operation in the U.S.; some three hundred thousand are performed each year. It involves removal of the lens.
The condition of the eyes reflect the health of the entire organism. Merely removing the cataract will not produce health—you are just removing one result of ill health. On the other hand, a healthy lifestyle will produce clear, healthy eyes.
Cholecystectomy (Removal of the gallbladder) – If, by some unlucky chance, your indigestion, ulcer pain, or bowel complaint happens to coincide with a moment when Doc is in an X-ray-happy mood, you just may get a gallbladder X ray. And if you are in that 33 percent of adults who happen to have a gallbladder stone—which may just be there minding its very own business—off you go to surgery.
The gallbladder performs a useful function, and one’s digestive function is never up to par after the operation.
There is a very interesting name for the incision often used in the performance of this little operation. It is a modest little name for a not-so-modest incision. It is, in fact, based on a particularly violent and fatal mutilation popularized in World War II. It is the descriptive image of how the gallbladder operation is begun. It is called the “hara-Kiri” incision.
D & C (Dilation or dilation and curettage) – This operation is performed if you have abnormally heavy bleeding in the uterus; to obtain a tissue specimen for examination, to treat an incomplete abortion or miscarriage, or to terminate a pregnancy.
Do not think that this operation is perfectly safe because it is not. Tissue damage can be done due to this totally unnecessary operation. Any abnormality such as heavy bleeding will be corrected by the body when a healthful regime is begun.
Gastrointestinal Surgery (Including gastric resection, intestinal resection, colostomy, ileostomy, and continent ileostomy) – This operation is done for ulcers, tumors, inflammatory diseases of the intestine, or diverticulitis—all of which may be causing pain, bleeding, obstruction or perforation. The only valid reason why this operation should be performed is if there is a mechanical obstruction or for tissue repair following an accident.
Invariably when this operation is performed for the first reasons given, at some point a tube is inserted through your nose and down your esophagus into your stomach or small intestine. These tubes are used for feeding, for administering drugs, and for removing fluid and gas from the stomach or intestines, as well as for obtaining specimens for study. The tube will be an anasogastric tube if it is to reach your stomach, an intestinal tube if it is to reach your small intestine. The tube is taped in place at your nose or forehead. As it is inserted, you are supposed to help it down by a, couple of swallows or a few sips of water through a straw. The intestinal tube has a weight at the end, usually a small, soft plastic bag weighted with mercury, which allows peristalsis, the natural movement of your intestines to carry it along, just as it would carry food.
If the tube is being used for suctioning out fluid and gas, it will be attached to a gentle suction pump, which works intermittently. When it is working, a light goes on.
No one should have to submit themselves to this torture-some treatment.
Gastrectomy – This mutilating stomach cutting never was constructive. Instead of telling the patient how to live more healthfully, they simply cut out the stomach.
They sever the vagus nerve to the stomach, the patient not knowing that the nerve almost always grows back. They connect the stomach to the bowel and thereby trade ulcer symptoms for worse symptoms called “dumping syndrome.” They cut, stitch, anastomose, sever, remove, and generally make the ulcer patient a lifetime digestive cripple.
Intestinal Resection – This operation is performed to remove tumors or portions of the intestine with diverticuli or inflammatory disease. After the affected portion has been removed and the two parts of your intestine are reconnected, a colostomy may be done It is done temporarily, to allow the intestine to heal and reconnect it in a second operation, or it may be permanent.
If your intestine is inflamed or if you have diverticuli or tumors, the body can and will heal if the causes of disease are removed and a rest is taken. This mutilating operation is unnecessary and will never provide health. Too many of these operations are performed daily, giving the sick individual false hopes of recovery.
Ileosiomy – If the colon is diseased, the entire colon and rectum will be removed, and from then on, waste will drain through an artificially-created opening on the abdomen into a plastic pouch.
This operation makes cripples out of hundreds of people every year. It is based on the false idea that if the diseased portion of the body is cut out, then total health will result. This is entirely absurd. Total health only conies from total healthful living. When the Laws of Life are obeyed, all organs of the body will function perfectly, including the bowels.
Coronary Artery Bypass – This operation is performed if one or more of the coronary arteries (the vessels supplying the heart) have become clogged by atherosclerosis. The most common conditions for which this operation is done are angina pectoris (severe chest pain) and severe disease of the left main coronary artery. The operation involves using grafts from a leg vein to create new routes around the arteries (hence the term bypass) so that blood can travel freely to the heart muscle. Sometimes the mammary artery is used to create the new route.
First done 14 years ago. it is a controversial procedure today. While there is no question that it relieves the immediate symptoms, it has not yet been conclusively proven that it prolongs life.
Hemorrhoidectomy (Removal of hemorrhoids) – This common operation is performed for painful or bleeding hemorrhoids (varicose veins of the rectum). When they are inside the anal sphincter, they are called internal; when outside, external. Internal hemorrhoids frequently prolapse through the anal sphincter and cause pain. If the blood within them clots, they are said to be thrombosed.
Pain, anesthesia, risk of surgery, inflammation, time lost from work, the expense are all consequences of this needless surgery. Most often, the hemorrhoids return because the cause for them has not been removed.
Hernia Repair (Called herniorrhaphy) – Performed to repair a weakened muscle through which an abdominal organ, usually the intestine, protrudes. There are several types of hernia, but inguinal—low on the abdomen near the groin—is the most common.
This operation can be done as an outpatient and doesn’t require hospitalization or an operating room. The whole cost of the hospital stay, operating room, anesthesiologist, etc., could be dispensed with. The individual rests for a bit afterward and then goes home.
However, hernias can often be corrected through special exercises performed daily at home. Dr. Shelton describes several exercises in his book, Exercise. By all means, you should give these exercises a fair try before subjecting yourself to any surgery.
Hysterectomy – The removal of the uterus supposedly takes away a so-called “cancer-prone” organ. Thus the gynecologist justifies the operation and the large fees for performing this major surgical procedure.
Along with the uterus, they usually remove the ovaries. This induces an instant “surgical menopause.” Often, the women develop years of anxiety, depression, sweats, hot Hashes, and a constellation of symptoms of estrogen deficiency. The physician gives her estrogen shots or estrogen tablets once a month. However, the estrogen itself is a cancer-causing agent. Thus a so-called “cancer-prone” organ has been removed so that the woman can get shots of a known cancer-causing agent.
Prostatectomy – Sitting at the base of the bladder in the male, a small roundish gland the size of a chestnut circles the male urethra. Sometimes it enlarges a bit and presses on the urethra, causing slow starts and a slow flow on urination. However, this is not a valid reason to remove the gland. As soon as the cause for the swelling is removed, the prostrate will return to normal size.
Prostatectomy may leave as its aftermath loss of bladder control (incontinence of urine), impotence, inflammation, impaired ejaculation, sterility, and recurrent return visits to the urologist.
Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy (T and A) – This operation is most often performed on children under six who have had recurrent sore throats (a symptom of healing), who have difficulty swallowing, breathing, or talking because their tonsils and/or adenoids are enlarged. They enlarge because of chronic toxicosis.
The adenoids shrink as the child grows older anyway, so the surgeon is sure to operate before that naturally occurs. We should not mutilate and cripple our children with this totally unnecessary surgery. Tonsils and adenoids are vital organs of detoxification.
Thyroidectomy – The fact that enlarged thyroids, overactive thyroids, and underactive thyroids can be completely healed without medicine or surgery is a fact that has largely been ignored by the general surgeons. They routinely cut out the thyroid gland, trusting to fate that the patient will never know that the operation was unnecessary and that the thyroid could have been left alone to heal on its own.
When the surgeon cuts out the thyroid gland, he renders the patient permanently hypothyroid; that is, for the rest of his life the patient will be dependent on thyroid supplements or else he may go into a coma.
Also, when, the surgeon cuts the thyroid, he may cut the recurrent laryngeal branch of the vagus nerve, which courses through the neck just underneath the thyroid gland. The patient then suffers permanent hoarseness due to the loss of the recurrent laryngeal nerve supply to the voice box.
Vasectomy – Vasectomy is male sterilization by cutting the vas deferens (the tube connecting the testes to the penis). Most men who have had vasectomies have subsequently been impotent.
Two reasons why urologists continue doing vasectomies and have not revealed the high incidence of impotence it causes are as follows:
1. Urologists earn a mint doing this operation.
2. So many vasectomies have already been performed, so many men have been made impotent that they are ashamed to admit it or bring up the fact. If the truth should come out, then malpractice cases against urologists would jam every court in the country.
Another aspect of vasectomy that the public has not been made aware of sufficiently is this for practical purposes it is a nonreversible operation. Rare cases have occurred where surgeons using microscopes have reconnected the severed ends of the vas deferens. However, a successful outcome from this is very rare.
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Choosing A Hospital
- 3. Dangers Of Hospitalization
- 4. Let The People Beware
- 5. Health Advocate
- 6. Your Rights
- 7. Abbreviations
- 8. Nursing Care
- 9. Food
- 10. Drugs
- 11. Tests To Accept Or Reject
- 12. Chemical Feedings
- 13. Surgery
- 14. Intensive Care Unit
- 15. The Emergency Room
- 16. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: Is Medicine a Fraud? By Dr. Herbert M. Shelton
- Article #2: Physician Heal Thyself – Part 1
- Article #2: Physician Heal Thyself – Part 2
- Article #3: Good Drugs
- Article #4: Good Medical Attention by Dr. George E. Crandall
- Article #5: Blood Transfusions by Dr. Herbert M. Shelton