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November 20, 2019

Current Practices in Hernia Screening—Evidence Based or Profit Driven?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 2Surgical Innovation Editor, JAMA Surgery
JAMA Surg. Published online November 20, 2019. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jamasurg.2019.4424

These statements are some representative quotes from advertisements promoting hernia screening events. An internet search for “hernia screening” currently returns 13 900 results. Most of these results are advertisements promoted by hospitals, as well as individual surgeons, for events around the country at which members of the general public can get examined by a surgeon to determine whether they have a hernia. The language commonly used in these events emphasizes the fact that if left untreated, hernias can lead to serious, life-threatening complications. “Hernias don’t get better, they just get worse,” states one advertisement. These events heavily feature robotic surgical technology, usually having a da Vinci system on display and inviting attendees to “test drive” the state-of-the-art system.

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