9 common medical procedures you may not need

  • 9 common medical procedures you may not need

    Skip it. Full-body computed-tomography (CT) scans, which can cost $1,000, have been touted as a way to detect early signs of cancer and heart disease. But if you're healthy, they're of no proven benefit. The American College of Radiology warns that they can lead to costly and potentially risky follow-up exams to check out harmless abnormalities that otherwise would have gone undetected. And then there's the risk of radiation. "The average radiation dose from medical imaging has increased more than six-fold over the last 30 years, with CT scans being the largest contributor," says Dr. David J. Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University. "We've found that full body CT scans expose patients to far more radiation than conventional plain film X-rays and consequently a higher lifetime risk of cancer deaths, about one in 1,250 for a 45-year-old adult and one in 1,700 for a 65-year-old adult," he said. istockphoto

    Sinus CT scans or antibiotics

    Acute rhinosinusitis, or a sinus infection, is a common condition in which the areas surrounding nasal passages become inflamed. It's generally diagnosed clinically and does not require a sinus CT scan or other imaging, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Antibiotics are also not recommended for patients with mild sinusitis, especially not before seven days of experiencing symptoms.