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Everyone knows the capability of what we can do in surgical care has dramatically increased in the last decade. I used to have to make large incisions to repair the spine or the brain back to health. Now, most of my incisions are less than an inch long and some are the size of pencil eraser. Over the last decade, my abilities have changed dramatically because of technology. Surgeries that once took many hours now take less than an hour. And most are not done in the hospital any longer. Moreover, the recovery times have also shrunk from months to weeks. Some of the operations of a fractured vertebra (spine) due to osteoporosis used to be brutal for patient and surgeon. Now I can repair them through the skin using a needle half the size of a number 2 pencil in less than ten minutes. To show you just how far we have come in surgery let me share with you a short video to give you an idea of what is actually possible now in 2011.

Take a few moments here and check it out.

Seems pretty cool does it not? But what if I were to tell you my epiphany for your future may never include surgery. Yes, you read that correctly. Now I do realize there will always be people who need our surgical services. But we know from recent data that the healthier your cellular terrain is the more likely you are to avoid surgery as you age. Ms. Catherine Mohr does some really cool things with robotic technology but I believe her focus on our real target is a bit off. What if we reject her premise that we need surgery most of the time to treat degenerative diseases and cancer using nature’s ways first. What if cancer and degenerative disease rate dropped and became less prevalent with real preventative treatments? How about we just take care of our cells to the best of our ability and avoid the pitfalls of all surgery and robots? Food for thought I think. She did not even mention this in her talk. As I listened to it struck me that the notion never even crossed her mind.  That has to change.

My hospital in Nashville spent 2 million dollars on one of those robots a few months ago. It actually sits in my operating room when I am working in there. Few surgeons currently use it because the learning curve is steep. Pretty expensive ticket to sit unused huh? Do you think someone is not paying for that technology some way? I know we could use many upgrades in equipment that are far cheaper and used much more frequently. Its just not as easy to market a new set of spine surgery instruments or new halogen headlights than a new Robot. Maybe you can see why two Tylenol now cost 13 dollars on your hospital bills (EOB)?

My epiphany is this: If we just change our thinking and do the things we know will avoid cancer and degenerative diseases maybe we can save the 2 million dollars spent on a rarely used device to teach people how to eat a paleolithic diet and how to begin to become leptin sensitive? Maybe we could pay for more preventative care to keep us healthy and not spend millions trying to get us back after a disease has ravaged us?

Just a thought. An ounce of prevention from nature will save a pound of cure and a ton of money too. You think anyone in Washington DC gets that message?  No, but the public does not need the message when they begin to listen to the doctor in their head nature provided us.