The Perils of Commercially Driven Surgical Innovation
Wall, L. Lewis
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2010 January; 202(1): 30.e1-4
The practice of gynecological surgery is being reshaped by commercial interests that are promoting the use of trochar-and-mesh surgical kits for the treatment of stress incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. In this article, we review the recent history of these surgical innovations and discuss the implications of changes in surgical practice that are driven by commercial interests of this kind. We situate this phenomenon within the general "life cycle" of surgical innovation and point out the dangers inherent in the adoption of new procedures without adequate evidence to support their safety and efficacy. We highlight the ethical responsibilities surgeons and their professional organizations have in making sure such innovations are safe and effective before they come into widespread use. Finally, we offer some policy suggestions to ensure that this process has proper oversight.
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