As Rates of Unnecessary Surgeries Soar, Integrated Healthcare Center HEALTH ATLAST Offers Alternative Solutions

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Even as Americans explore non-invasive options for managing health, rates of unnecessary surgeries continue to rise. HEALTH ATLAST, an integrated healthcare clinics franchise, offers other treatment choices that avoid potential surgical complications while still offering effective treatments.

Each year, as many as 25 million surgical procedures (not including plastic surgery) are performed.(1) Up to 7.5 million surgeries—or 29% of all surgeries—are performed unnecessarily.(1) Some of these unnecessary procedures cause unintended but devastating consequences for patients, yet the rates of surgical interventions continue to rise. As more Americans choose to avoid going under the knife, integrated healthcare practices such as HEALTH ATLAST offer non-invasive treatment solutions that address the core issues of patients’ problems.

Even though many surgeries are considered “routine”, the risks to patients cannot be understated. As many as 1.3 million Americans are injured and become disabled as a result of hospital stays, including those following surgery.(1) Unlike medications—which fall under the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) oversight—surgical procedures are not regulated in any way by any governmental agencies.(2,3) This means that operations vary widely in surgical technique, length of time, risk and outcome.

The number of people undergoing one of the most common procedures, lumbar spinal fusion surgery, has increased by 773.6% over the past few decades.(4) But more than 80% of elderly individuals with degenerative spine conditions report no symptoms, or their symptoms were resolved after conservative treatments such as chiropractic manipulation.(4) Regardless, spinal surgeries continue to dominate the surgical market—between 2001 and 2010, there were an estimated 3.6 million spinal fusions performed.(4)

There are additionally approximately 750,000 hysterectomies performed each year, making the procedure one of the most common in the United States.(1) However, as many as 90% of all hysterectomies may be unnecessary,(1) especially given that alternative treatments such as acupuncture have been shown to reduce or even prevent many of the common symptoms that lead some doctors to recommend surgery, including abnormal uterine bleeding.(5)

“The most aggressive conservative treatments should be completely tried and done before Surgery is considered, unless of course it is some sort of emergency surgery or after a severe accident. Trying things that may work is a wise idea for you can always have surgery; however, once surgery is done, alternative treatments are still often required and needed but you can’t reverse surgery once performed,” says Stephanie Higashi, founder of HEALTH ATLAST. “Even if someone has to undergo surgery pre-surgical and post-surgical rehab and therapies, exercise, nutrition and treatments will help ensure a successful surgery and post surgery treatments performed help to lower the risks of failed surgery that often happens when patients are not given or do not perform sufficient pre and post surgical rehab and preparation. Surgical cutting of the body most often causes scar tissue, causes the body to be weaker, can introduce foreign objects that the body can reject. The best that a person can do if they must undergo surgery after exhausting all other options is to provide their body the best possible outcome with preparation before and after. We know that other therapies, like chiropractic care, physical therapy, massage and acupuncture, have worked for many people and can be useful for reducing or even eliminating symptoms. Before patients have surgeries that may actually be unnecessary, they should first explore all options available to them.”

Sometimes surgery is recommended unnecessarily due to a surgeon not first encouraging a patient to try alternative treatments first, sometimes it is the demand of the patient and non-compliance to try alternatives to surgery, sometimes it is due to insurance coverage will cover a surgery but not an alternative, could be quotas and sadly and most unethically it could be due to the economics and reimbursement of surgery versus alternative care, home care recommendations or lifestyle recommendations that may not get paid for at all.

It has been said if all a person has is a hammer everything looks like a nail. HEALTH ATLAST believes if you have an entire tool box filled with tools the best treatment recommendation and option will be utilized. The integrated healthcare model developed by HEALTH ATLAST allows patients to examine their treatment choices while still receiving professional healthcare advice from a multi-disciplinary team which includes medical doctors and other specialists. This comprehensive approach to patient care allows each patient to receive high-quality care while avoiding surgeries and medications as much as possible.

Higashi says, “If surgery is truly the best option for a patient, we’d certainly recommend they pursue that option. However, our healthcare team will first explore all options for easing symptoms and promoting better health without the use of surgeries or medications that may cause unintended complications—the best interests of each patient are at the heart of our holistic approach to care whenever possible.”

HEALTH ATLAST was founded out of the observations of alarmingly number of surgeries performed on patients, increased number of patients on medications and most times multiple medications uncoordinated. HEALTH ATLAST’s goal is to bring medical, chiropractic, acupuncture and massage care models together into one convenient, all-encompassing healthcare practice. Instead of referring patients to other healthcare providers, HEALTH ATLAST brings professionals from multiple disciplines together under one roof to provide comprehensive, coordinated, convenient, personalized customized focused care to each patient.

At each HEALTH ATLAST franchise clinic location, patients have access to knowledgeable, experienced health care providers, including medical doctors, doctors of chiropractic, acupuncturists, massage therapists and physiotherapists. Once a firm medical diagnosis is made, each patient is treated with the goal of successful rehabilitation and healing while avoiding unnecessary medications and surgeries as much as possible. Successful doctors of chiropractic, medical doctors, doctors of osteopathic medicine, wellness professionals, and philanthropic investors looking to expand and improve the health of others are all candidates for being a great HEALTH ATLAST franchise owner. To learn more about HEALTH ATLAST, please visit

About Stephanie Higashi:

As a pre-med student in 1997, Stephanie Higashi was dismayed to find a national model of healthcare focused on prescribing medications and performing invasive surgeries without first exploring alternative therapies. She began a search to find different solutions for medical problems, incorporating alternative methods of healthcare into one unique, all-encompassing practice model. Higashi’s uncommon approach to patient care has helped to bring medical professionals from diverse disciplines together with one common goal—to avoid the use of unnecessary drugs and surgical treatments as much as possible, while effectively addressing the complex and varied medical needs of each patient. The end result is healthier patients and happier doctors too.

1.    Unnecessary Surgeries. Sweeney Law Firm.
2.    Why do surgeons continue to perform unnecessary surgery? Patient Safety in Surgery.
3.    Many operations could be unnecessary, says leading surgeon. The Guardian.
4.    Alarming Escalation of Fusion Surgery—What Can be Done? American Chiropractic Association.
5.    Primary Care Management of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

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Karla Jo Helms
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