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Take a second opinion before undergoing surgeries, urge UAE doctors.

Summary: Non-indicated surgeries are a crime in the UAE.

Jasmine Al Kuttab


Doctors in the UAE have urged residents to take a second opinion before undergoing surgeries after being diagnosed with health issues.

Dr Nehad Nabil Halawa, anesthesia specialist, Burjeel Hospital, said that non-indicated surgeries are a crime in the UAE.

"If a surgery is not indicated as per the diagnosis, then it is an illegal and criminal act, and the patient should complain to the authorities," Dr Halawa said.

He pointed out that all procedures must be a mutual decision between the surgeon and the patient or his family. "Doctors and hospitals cannot take decisions alone."

Dr Halawa stressed that patients must be clearly informed about the surgery and must sign a consent form, which indicated the side effects and what should happen if complications occur. "The patients have the right to say yes or no, and they have the right to ask for a second opinion. It is the full responsibility of the patient if he has accepted the risk of surgery."

He noted that in some cases, patients should be given the options of what procedures are available - invasive and non-invasive ones.

Dr Halawa warned that less equipped hospitals sometimes advise patients to have surgery compared to well-equipped larger hospitals. He added that cosmetic surgeries and weight reduction surgeries take the top spots for unnecessary surgeries in the country.

Dr Raghunath Prabhu, specialist in general surgery, Universal Hospital, said many patients with silent gallstones have been wrongly advised to have surgeries. "In majority of the cases, patients visit the physician for abdominal pain and an ultrasound scam reveals a silent gallstone. Doctors would right away advise the patient to undergo surgery, even if not needed. Not all kidney stones warrant surgeries."

Dr Prabhu added: "In the UAE, there are three level verifications are required before surgery procedures are conducted: The doctor's consultation with the patient, the radiologist's evaluation and the final evaluation made by the doctor at the insurance company who studies the case and determines whether the case is accepted or rejected.

"You should always go for a second opinion, even if there is a small doubt in your mind."

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Aug 27, 2018
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