I want placebos for surgery!

Before any doc gives you a pill he should have tested that pill to make sure A) That it’s not harmful and B) That it actually has benefit.


Randomised control trials (RCT’s) are done using the poison they want to sell vs a placebo pill to see if the shit they want to sell you actually works and doesn’t kill you. *


What about surgery?

If a surgeon says “Let me cut you, it will help you. Trust me, I’m a surgeon,” how do you know he’s right? In fact, how does HE know he’s right?

Answer: He doesn’t. At first. Established procedures may have accepted success rates, but new procedures don’t. So traditionally most surgery is done by trial and error. Cut, Oops, Bury. (Note the toe tag on the poor victim in the picture! And you noticed the see no, speak no, hear no masks, right?)

So why don’t surgeons use placebos when testing new procedures?

Cos they can’t? No, they can. Especially nowadays with minimal invasive surgery (aka “keyhole surgery”).


The paper is called:
Feasibility of surgical randomised controlled trials with a placebo arm
This review demonstrated that placebo-
controlled surgical trials are feasible, at least for procedures with a lower level of invasiveness, but also that recruitment is difficult. Many of the presumed challenges to undertaking such trials, for example, funding, anaesthesia or blinding of patients and
assessors, were not reported as obstacles to completion in any of the reviewed trials.

* Just know that they cheat on these trials. If the pill DOES work the trial gets published 100% of the time. But only 14% of all trials get published. Where the pill DOESN’T work hardly ANY trials get published.



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