How glorious is the NHS

Unnecessary appendix surgery ‘performed on thousands in UK’
Third of women who enter theatre end up having normal appendix removed, study finds

24 thoughts on “How glorious is the NHS”

  1. This happened to my wife. She got some kind of severe stomach problem, probably just food poisoning from a pizza and ended up in St. Richard’s Hospital in Chichester.

    They didn’t know (or perhaps didn’t test) for what was wrong with her, just poked and prodded a bit and diagnosed “grumbling appendix”. When they opened her up the appendix was fine, so they took it out anyway, just in case.

    The doctors were pretty honest about the whole thing, but personally I thought it was idiotic.

  2. It’s true their diagnostic methods are lame.

    BUT If they don’t take a bad one out, you die.

    How many reports of people dying from appendicitis while under medical care do we get?

    ‘A study has found that almost a third of women and 12% of men in the UK who undergo surgery for suspected appendicitis end up having a normal appendix removed.’

    Regardless of the numbers, they are ‘erring’ on the correct side.

    A modest proposal: let’s have Guardian journalists diagnose appendicitis.

  3. In other medical drama news: crazy tranny “Jessica” Yaniv of #waxmyballs fame tried his schtick on a gynaecologist, ended up being gloriously wrecked by David Brent:

    Jessica Yaniv @trustednerd
    So a gynaecologist office that I got referred to literally told me today that “we don’t serve transgender patients.”

    And me, being me, I’m shocked.. and confused… and hurt.

    Are they allowed to do that, legally? Isn’t that against the college practices?

    Ricky Gervais @rickygervais
    It’s disgusting that a qualified gynaecologist can refuse to check a lady’s cock for ovarian cancer. What if her bollocks are pregnant? She could lose the baby. I’m outraged.

    More brutal than Boris Johnson showing frail Japanese children how to play British Bulldog 😀

  4. Gamecock said:
    ”BUT If they don’t take a bad one out, you die.”

    Of course if it didn’t take six weeks to get an initial appointment, and another three weeks for the test results to come back from one side of the hospital to the other, and another six weeks to get booked in to do something about it, then they might be able to test whether there was anything wrong before opening people up.

  5. ”Third of women who enter theatre end up having normal appendix removed, study finds“

    That’ll teach them to stay away from the luvvies.

  6. @Gamecock: “BUT If they don’t take a bad one out, you die.”

    Yes, I realised that and thought that “to err on the side of caution” was reasonable at the time (especially since it wasn’t my appendix they were taking out). The wife was fucking annoyed though. Coming from “foreign” she thought the doctors weren’t being cautious but incompetent.

    Difficult call as you say, but they seem a bit quick to whip it out. Maybe and additional half-an-hour of diagnostics would be justified when your balancing the risk of major surgery and the removal of an important part of the gastric system which may not be as useless as we’ve previously believed.

    I guess my TL/DR is that maybe we should look to see if we can identify a burst appendix with more modern means than poking people under the liver, provided the death rates (including those for unnecessary surgery and post-op infection) don’t rise significantly.

  7. Medically ignorant journo plays to the masses. Pity you can’t do Markov diagrams here:

    Suspected appendicitis :
    signs and symptoms don’t confirm, watch and wait.
    Signs and symptoms confirm, emergency op. Then:

    Appendix looks shit – remove
    Appendix doesn’t look shit: two options:
    (A) Remove and you’re done with only small additional margin risk/loss of function from having opened patient up anyway.
    (B) Don’t remove, sew back up – three possible outcomes
    (1) Appendix is OK and stays OK until the patient dies of something else
    (2) Appendix is OK but blows up good and proper later
    (3) Appendix is not OK even though you thought it was, and blows up so you have to go in a second time very shortly afterwards and so have the additional risk from not only a second surgery but a blowing up appendix.

    It’s how the cost/benefit of 2+3 vs. A adds up. And I don’t know appendixes but there will be guidelines that have done the analysis pretty carefully and I bet they say take the thing out if you’ve bothered to go inside the patient.

    JG, no it isn’t much more high-tech than that, and an appendix actually exploding is a whole other world of shit than taking it out before it does.

  8. I know people who intended being on a boat for a while having them removed specifically. As in, it serves no useful function, and if you suddenly find yourself in the middle of an ocean…

  9. I remember reading that all the astronauts had their appendixes removed as a precaution Difficult to treat when you are way up yonder.

  10. All NASA astronauts had their appendix removed before going into space as precaution.

    If is difficult to treat when it bursts when you are up yonder.

  11. Gamecock

    A modest proposal: let’s have Guardian journalists diagnose appendicitis.

    At least for Guardian readers, surely.

  12. Another thing to consider is that maybe British doctors are more keen than doctors in forrin to get the laparoscopes out when someone comes in with tummy pain. Cost, more healthy appendixes out. Cost in forrin: more exploded appendixes because of the more conservative management.

    But isn’t it great we’ve got journalists to tell us that there are simple black and white answers in medicine, rather than trade offs and marginal calls?

  13. Why “third of women”? It happens to males too – me for one when 14. Standard procedure is once you’re opened, might as well remove it; guarantees one won’t ever have appendicitis – sensible imo

    In my case it was constipation, more importantly I’m glad appendix & it’s risk gone

    @Gamecock December 4, 2019 at 12:15 pm


    @John Galt

    “an important part of the gastric system”2 – it’s not.

    The study you cite is all may, might, could. I predict Heather F. Smith believes in AGW/ACC woo too

    @Bloke in Germany December 4, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    +10 Spot on.

  14. I’m more worried about the Guardian and numbers again

    the team found that, of the almost 2,000 patients who had an operation, 28% of women and 12% of men ended up having a normal appendix removed.

    But this is a “third of women” in the headline and “almost a third of women and 12% of men” in the body of the article.

    I’m an engineer. If someone said to me they’d done a third of the job and it was actually 28%, I’d be pretty annoyed.

    Also, I notice they overstated the female rate, but kept the male rate as the actual percentage…

  15. Anecdata:

    ~1973, I had abdominal pains. Went to see the plant doctor. “I don’t think it’s appendicitis, but I’m going to send you up to Chippenham Hospital and have them check.”

    Chippenham Hospital Emergency Room doc: “Dunno, I dont think it’s appendicitis, but I’m going to have a surgeon check.”

    Surgeon, “Yes, you have appendicitis.”

    Day after surgery to remove, surgeon visited me in hospital room.

    “Well? Was it appendicitis?”

    “Hrumph.” Doc left the room and I never saw him again.

    Was my appendectomy necessary? I’ll never know.

    But ever since, Gamecock has had a truism: “Never ask a surgeon if you need surgery; of course you do.”

  16. But ever since, Gamecock has had a truism: “Never ask a surgeon if you need surgery; of course you do.”

    Could be said of almost any trade or profession.
    “Do i need a new boiler?”
    “of course.” said the guy supplying and fitting it.

    Swap boiler for roof, car, dental work, physiotherapy, anything.

    I only go to foreign doctors now unless completely unavoidable. Much faster, more efficient and less of a pain. My missus, who is from the foreigns as well, is always astonished at how shit the NHS is and how we put up with it.
    Envy of the world my arse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *