PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Dr. Paul Ruggieri is a practicing surgeon specializing in general, advanced minimally invasive and thyroid surgery.

On Sept. 2, his book, “The Cost of Cutting: A Surgeon Reveals the Truth Behind a Multibillion-Dollar Industry,” was released exposing the hard-truth about the health industry.

His book details an insider’s perspective of the economic influence on a busy operating room and what patients and policymakers should do to reduce costs and improve the quality for patients.

The main point states that the reason it’s so expensive is that hospitals and surgeons expect to make a profit.

Dr. Ruggieri says the practice of performing unnecessary surgeries is not a new problem. In the 1970s they conducted a study that showed 12,000 surgeries were deemed unnecessary costing several billion dollars and tens of thousands of lives.

Recently, universities have conducted a similar study and estimate its about 10 to 20 percent of all surgeries were not needed resulting in about $150 billion cost to the healthcare systems.

He addressed several reasons as to why these surgeries are conducted. Prostate cancer or early thyroid cancer are examples of surgeries that many believe the medical industry is over treating.

“Truly business, of course that’s there, I’m sure it’s a percentage, I don’t know what percentage, other reasons that surgery is not needed or unnecessary is that some surgeons are slow at picking up on new technology or stuck in their ways,” said Dr. Ruggieri. “They do things certain ways and as opposed to doing a major operation they could do something quite less.”

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