There are many patients who assume that surgical procedures go through the same (or similar) testing and government approval processes as prescription drugs. Developers certainly test new surgical procedures/devices, and the healthcare professionals who are to use them are trained accordingly. In addition, the FDA must approve these devices' safety before they are implemented into a practical setting.
Unfortunately, surgical techniques are not subjected to the same level of scrutiny as prescription drugs. And in a similar manner to prescription drugs, any issues with new procedures/devices may not be noticed until after they've been used regularly.
For example, uterine fibroids are treated with a technique known as power (or electric) morcellation. This technique is more efficient, as it requires a small incision (sometimes
none), is less painful, and has a faster recovery period. However, recent studies have shown that power morcellation can lead to serious complications, which can be fatal in certain
instances. Health issues generally arise months or years later if fragments of tissue seed onto other organs.
What are your thoughts on approval processes for surgical procedures and devices? Please feel free to share your opinion.