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Profitable procedures

Surgery is scary enough.

But when your surgeon has a financial interest in the parts he or she will implant into your body, it's not the anesthesia that makes the procedure start to look fuzzy.

This is the story of Physician Owned Distributorships, or PODs for short. KPCC reporter Karen Foshay investigated the practice of surgeons potentially using more implants than necessary in patients just to reap an extra buck. 

Imagine: you need back surgery and your surgeon recommends using various rods, screws and other implants. If the surgeon has a financial stake in the products they use, how can you know that they aren't implanting more devices than what are needed?

Possibly the scariest aspect of this story is the mystery surrounding PODs. It is difficult if not impossible to find information on what doctors are members of a POD. Often the only disclosure is a line or two among the stacks of paperwork patients sign before surgery. 

See the full project on KPCC's website.

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