home
RSS
April 4th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

5 medical tests you often don't need

Forty-five tests and procedures routinely performed on patients are often unnecessary, according to a report released Wednesday by nine physician groups, the Consumers Union, and the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation.

“Many of the things that are routinely done are things that patients have come to expect and doctors have routinely ordered,” said Dr. Christine Cassel, president and CEO of the ABIM Foundation. “These are not things that should never be done, but they are things that are often overused.”

It's more ammunition to ask your doctor whether your tests and treatments are necessary, especially given that patients request many of them.

“Often the doctors will say the patients are asking for these things,” Cassel told CNN.

The groups looked at the scientific rational for performing each of the tests and procedures listed in the report. According to the doctors, here are five tests you often do not need:

1. A CT scan or MRI scan after fainting
If your behavior is normal (no seizures or neurological problems) then a brain scan is unlikely to improve your outcome.

2. An annual cardiac stress test
If you're otherwise healthy, repeating the test every year or so rarely changes the course of your treatment. But additional tests could lead to more invasive tests and unwanted radiation, according to the American College of Cardiology.

3. A chest x-ray before outpatient surgery
If you have a moderate to good functioning heart you probably don’t need the scan as part of your assessment before a low risk surgery.

“There’s good evidence that adding a chest x-ray before you have the surgery doesn’t pick up abnormalities that the doctor needs to know about before the operation,” Dr. Cassel said.

4. A back scan within the first six weeks of lower back pain
When a physical exam of your back fails to find the source of your pain, a back scan isn’t likely to reveal the source of your pain and therefore won't improve the outcome – but it will drive up costs.

5. A repeat colorectal cancer screening
Beginning at age 50, one high-quality colonoscopy every 10 years is all you need if your results are normal.

The website ChoosingWisely.org lists all 45 tests and procedures featured in the report.  It was developed by these doctors' groups along with Consumer Reports and the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation to help doctors control the cost of U.S. health care.

“This is about getting rid of the fat in the system," said Cassel. "Getting rid of waste."


soundoff (118 Responses)
  1. zortilo nrel

    Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you really know what you're talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also visit my website =). We could have a link exchange agreement between us!

    http://www.zortilonrel.com/

    February 7, 2021 at 12:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Europa-Road traktor szállítás

    Some really wonderful articles on this website, thanks for contribution. "A man with a new idea is a crank - until the idea succeeds." by Mark Twain.

    https://europa-road.eu/hu/traktor-szallitas.php

    February 9, 2021 at 05:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. zortilo nrel

    Outstanding post, you have pointed out some superb points, I as well think this s a very excellent website.

    http://www.zortilonrel.com/

    February 15, 2021 at 17:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Obdulia Fulks

    Great post. I really enjoyed reading this. I'll make sure to share with my friends.

    https://howtodiscuss.com/t/spanish-interpreter/37015

    February 18, 2021 at 08:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. ClarkTauts

    4lnnb wcp0l sj6i

    March 2, 2021 at 00:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Emmett Schrawder

    https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/

    March 4, 2021 at 10:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Ariel Hippley

    I really like your writing style, excellent info , regards for putting up : D.

    https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/

    March 4, 2021 at 10:51 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.