A friend of mine is considering a very invasive and painful surgery done with only local anesthesia. She asked if anyone had comments and I sent her to a website where people who have actually had the procedure DONE discuss it. After reading it, she said, "I saw this website when I did my research online. All these kinds of comments prove what my dad's doctor says: Don't read that stuff!"
So, the debate boils down to a guy who 1) has never had the procedure performed on himself personally and 2) stands to gain financially from the procedure vs. people who have had the surgery and have no vested interest in sharing their stories?
Wow. Really? Boy, I don't know. I've become so distrustful of the medical establishment lately that I would really think long and hard about it. Other considerations my friend is facing: The surgery has a documented success rate of under 30%. It's an elective procedure, not covered by insurance. The side effects of the surgery include a possible worsening of the symptoms the surgery is supposed to alleviate. There are proven alternatives to the surgery that are less convenient (namely altered diet and exercise) but have higher success rates.