Elements S1 • E40

Some Popular Surgeries Are Just Placebos, Here’s Why They Still Exist





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Published on Apr 10, 2018

Just like there are sugar pills — placebo surgeries can trick patients. Are doctors performing complicated and expensive surgeries for no reason?

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How Fake Surgery Exposes Useless Treatments
“The headline reflected the results of a British study, published online last November in the Lancet, that used what is probably the best methodology for assessing a surgical procedure: sham surgery”

The Placebo Effect Doesn’t Apply Just to Pills
“For a drug to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, it must prove itself better than a placebo, or fake drug….But when it comes to medical devices and surgery, the requirements aren’t the same. Placebos aren’t required. That is probably a mistake.”

What Is the Placebo Effect?
“A placebo is anything that seems to be a "real" medical treatment -- but isn't. It could be a pill, a shot, or some other type of "fake" treatment. What all placebos have in common is that they do not contain an active substance meant to affect health.”

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Special thanks to Julian Huguet for writing this episode of Seeker!
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