Can I Avoid a Major Surgery?
If you have concerns about a suggested surgery and want to explore less invasive alternatives, you may have another treatment option. Surgeries for some “mechanical” conditions can be avoided, including:
- Exploratory surgery for pain or dysfunction
- Adhesion related disorder (ARD)
- Recurring small bowel obstruction (SBO)
- Blocked fallopian tubes
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Tailbone (coccyx) pain
In the following pages, we invite you to consider the advantages and disadvantages of treating the above conditions with surgical procedures vs. non-surgical manual therapy.
Why Doctors Suggest Surgery
Common reasons a physician suggests a patient undergo a major, invasive surgery include:
- Explore and investigate to diagnose unexplained pain or dysfunction;
- Repair or remove diseased or damaged structures from the body;
- Decrease adhesions (internal scars) that formed during an earlier healing event in the body, such as a surgery, infection, trauma, inflammation or radiation therapy.
Types of Conditions Surgery Addresses
Conditions often addressed with surgery may be classified as either:
- Mechanical problems, such as adhesions, bowel obstruction, blocked fallopian tubes, etc.;
- Unexplained pain or dysfunction, where the cause of the problem is not clear. The doctor wants to take a closer look to help diagnose and, hopefully, treat the condition;
- Medical or disease conditions, such as a cancerous tumor, diseased tissue, bacterial or parasitic infection or necrosis (dead or dying tissue).
While surgery is the only way to address disease or strictly medical conditions (item 3 above), a manual physical therapy is often effective with the first two items in the list.
There are several reasons one might consider this therapy before electing to undergo surgery. The process of undergoing a surgery generally includes being “put under” by anesthesia. The surgeon then opens the skin and deeper tissues to access the inside of the body. The physician may cut or burn living tissue, stitch, staple or repair the body and possibly insert foreign agents such as metal, mesh or gels. These processes create permanent changes within the internal structure of the body, with the hope of helping the patient have a better life.
Certainly, surgery can save lives; it is performed by highly skilled professionals, trained to be experts in their medium. But no matter how skilled your doctor, most will agree that surgery can carry unwanted risks or side effects.
Aftereffects of the body’s healing from a surgical procedure can cause significant problems, with one of the most serious being the formation of post-surgical adhesions. A mammoth study examined over 50 years of surgery in the Western world. Results revealed that surgery in the abdomen or pelvis caused post-surgical adhesions to form in 55% to 100% of cases. In short, with all of the benefits that a surgery can bring, the body undergoes risks during and after a major surgery.
Now, a new therapy is showing promise as a replacement for surgery with some conditions. For patients and physicians facing these conditions, this work can be an ideal alternative, helping people avoid the potential risks and side effects of surgery. Click the links below to learn about:
- the conditions this therapy has helped (documented in peer-reviewed journals);
- the procedures, risks, advantages and disadvantages of surgery and therapy; and
- how the non-surgical physical therapy for these conditions can help you avoid surgery.
Conditions Where the Therapy May Replace Surgery
- Unexplained pain or dysfunction
- Adhesions, adhesion-related disorder (ARD)
- Recurring Small bowel obstruction
- Tailbone (coccyx) pain
Women’s health conditions