Watch your groin

The reason why I've been blogging lightly these past few days is because, as a favor, I'm covering the practice for some colleagues who I'm (very) loosely affiliated with. The time demands have been great.

Nonetheless, it is a good reminder to me just how far wrong conventional cardiology remains. Judging by what I see around me, there is a startling lack of restraint in proceeding to the catheterization laboratory. Curiously, the internists and family practitioners have been brainwashed into accepting this path. I suppose that all it takes is an occasional real "save" for these physicians to develop a fear of ever missing real disease.

What I'm seeing is just how many people presenting with chest pain or similar symptoms end up going to the cath lab. I would crudely estimate 80%. That is, once you make it past the emergency room, there's a four out of five chance that you'll end up with a heart catheterization to "be sure your heart is okay", "make certain you're not going to die of heart disease", "see if there's a ticking time bomb in your chest". You've heard all the clever, scary phrases that get tossed around to scare the pants off you and justify putting catheters in your groin.

Despite the fact that tools for heart disease prevention have improved dramatically, the volume of heart catheterizations continues to grow nationwide.

I find it shocking and unacceptable. We're currently working behind the scenes to help change this situation through education of the public. Persuade a $1 million a year cardiologist that he is overdoing procedures? Unlikely in my experience. Educate the public about the shocking over-reliance on high-revenue procedures? Perhaps more practical.