From a Wall Street Jouranl online article:
Dr. Makary examines the practice of performing unnecessary vascular procedures in a chapter of his new book, “The Price We Pay,” published Sept. 10. In it, he describes what seems to be the “predatory” practice of some doctors seeking out patients at health screenings in churches.
Dr. Hicks says performing unnecessary leg procedures like stenting can make vascular disease worse, creating blockage in narrow arteries or causing an artery to rupture. She says patients with early leg pain have a 1% to 2% risk of limb loss after five years. But aggressive procedures increase that risk to 5% to 10%.
Some physicians are stenting leg arteries and removing plaque at alarming rates, these doctors say. The often-avoidable procedures could put patients at risk of complications and worsening disease.
Johns Hopkins researchers published a study in June in the Journal of Vascular Surgery analyzing national data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that administers the Medicare program. The research identified 320 physicians whose rates for conducting such procedures in patients newly diagnosed with leg pain were 14% or higher. The mean rate of all 5,664 physicians was 3.5%.