US Surgeons today were reported to be investing in hardware giants, Lowes and Home Depot to off-set costs of expensive surgery and repair damaged reputations. The move comes in the wake of a NY Times report last Saturday that surgeons were investing heavily in expensive, spinal screw manufacturing companies and recommending spinal-fusion surgery at an alarming rate.
"We're thinking that this may have been a fox-in-the-hen-house situation," said consumer advocate and Kelly Green party member, Ralph Lauren Nadar.
Spinal-fusion surgery, according to the New York tabloid, is one of the most lucrative areas of medicine today, and can cost patients and their insurance companies as much as $1,000 a screw. (We don't know about you, but to charge $1,000 a screw is unheard of and better be a damned good screw!)
Other parts selling were nuts for $250.00 a piece and a rod for $300.00. A complete spine set of Alvin Tostig designer surgical ware goes for $7,800 for one procedure.
"We're talking about nuts and screws that go for .89 a piece at the hardware store," said humanitarian surgeon, Patch Adams. "Why use a $1,000 screw when an .89 one will work perfectly well?"
Dr. Charles D. Rosenup, spine surgeon for the University of California Irvine, who is president of the newly formed Association of Ethical Spine Surgeons, said that his 75 member group was concerned about their members and with the amount of screwing going on of the American public.
"The American public does not deserve to be screwed as much as they are," said member, Dr. John Hammer, chief surgeon at NYU. "We feel some doctors are remiss in recommending the surgery and are over screwing."
According to market analysts, US markets for spinal implants (including screws) have almost matched that of hip and knee replacements and are now grossing almost six billion dollars in sales. 30 new start-up companies have begun selling spinal screws in the last couple of years.
"We feel that the surgeon's decision to invest in Lowes and Home Depot is a wise choice to counter these numbers and will have a restorative effect on their reputations," said Viki Robthemsome, a senior attorney in the Office of Master-baiter General at the Department of Wealth and Human Services.
Since most persons needing the surgery were elderly, analysts didn't see how it was cost effective recommending a $20,000 surgery to a person who may only have a couple of years to live. But now, using hardware from Lowes and Home Depot suddenly this type of surgery becomes possible for everyone.
In other news today, traders on Wall Street are having heart attacks today because they have not worked in four days.