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June 1978

Regulating 'Unnecessary Surgery' Regulations

Author Affiliations

Clayton, Mo

Arch Ophthalmol. 1978;96(6):1095. doi:10.1001/archopht.1978.03910050605028

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To the Editor.  —Dr Wong's special communication entitled, "Indications for Cataract Surgery: Psycholinguistic Considerations," which appeared in the March Archives (96:526-528, 1978), superbly states the problems facing both patient and surgeon in the often-difficult process of deciding the point at which to intervene surgically in a patient with cataract and visual complaints. The issues are discussed more masterfully than in any other communication I have seen on this subject.The corresponding editorial, "A Surgical Storm," which appears on p 427 of the same Archives, lights squarely on another problem, ie, unnecessary surgery. I submit that the "storm" headlined in this editorial is mostly of political origin; that most patients don't consider their surgery unnecessary. As in any collection of human beings, there is undoubtedly an occasional ophthalmic surgeon who is too eager, but the vast majority of ophthalmic surgeons in the United States, and the vast majority of cataract (and

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