Banned by my Surgeon?
06/11/2021 at 3:04 am #29352
Completely baffled as to why I was recently informed not to contact hospital staff anymore. Due to the corona pandemic my communications were restricted to emails except for one phone call I made. Because the mistreatment has been so stunningly bad, I have no explanation for it. My sharing here, besides a bit cathartic maybe, can be instructive for showing what can happen and be potentially insightful.
After almost six months of continual rebuffs from the hospital staff assigned me, I was informed not to contact them (May 25, 2021). Originally, on December 30, 2020, I had reported a post-op swelling, which they did not address until almost three months later (March 22, 2021) with some advice from my surgeon. I then asked for clarification, a simple routine question–not about me–but about the surgeon’s own advice about hernia swellings. One of the staff tactics (some of the staff emails were manipulative) was to continually ask for pictures.
I never asked for a diagnosis but rather about the surgeon’s previously stated experience with swellings. I wanted to make sure he had in mind swellings with a bulge or protrusion–hernia-like, right? Eventually I gave in and provided picture(s) if that would be the admission ticket for his answer. Please let me repeat: My question was not about my swelling; thus my picture(s) were not needed for his answer. In fact, if the surgeon’s observation about swellings were quasi-hernia (hernia-like but not quite) then it might be history making in the annals of medicine, for I have yet to find any alternative explanation.
From then I had to wait two months to hear this inadequate answer from staff: “Yes, he implied yes.” This gave me the feeling that staff never actually asked the doctor but drummed it out of memory. It would be like on the order of, “Yes your operation is the 19th of next month; he implied it.” You would be no better off than before you had asked the question. Nevertheless I complained and asked for confirmation but never received one to this day. Even if they answered completely satisfactorily, it came after a tormented series of back-and-forth emails of dodging the rebuffs I mentioned.
For example, during the latter two-month wait, “He’s too busy” were some of the replies I received. They went off track wanting to diagnose me when I wasn’t asking for it. They made a switch of doctor (not a good sign), contradicting my surgeon at least once. Systematically there appeared a variety of replies that were off-putting. Ironically the hospital staff said I had a “communication problem” with the surgeon (May 24, 2021)–yes! I was never allowed direct contact with him. In effect, layers or barriers appeared to be erected between him and me. Hospital policy? Since then and now I sent several emails about lifting my banning but without reply. Thus I have no recourse but to turn here.
I am still in disbelief as the hospital staff seemed unmoved that I might have gone through considerable grief about my condition and the nonsense they put me through for months. I honestly feel that they had hoped I would give up and drift away. Because the hospital is the surgeon’s own, it is likely staff were following his policy. (And if not, he had better get a better personnel director.) Ironically, if he reads HerniaTalk, it may the only way I can communicate with him. From this case, implications emerge particularly a concerning one. Hint: data. Another is the load of operations carried by this surgeon. As mentioned, staff at times said he was too busy to reply to me. Five or six months to deal with routine matters, yet dealt with ineffectively? Seems to me this is just tip of the iceberg.
06/11/2021 at 8:13 am #29353
Sorry you aren’t having a good experience w/ your doc.
I quit going to my surgeon after my complications/follow ups. She was always too hurried and would literally spend under a minute with me before taking off into the hallway. I remember having to call her back into the room so that I could ask questions and get some sense of what’s going on. Didn’t like that very much.
I visited a number of other docs out of frustration. It became clear that it’s a guessing game, and that there are very few solid answers. The protocol is to get imaging done, and if nothing shows, then by default, you can reason it to be a mesh complication. Somewhat unsettling, though, to be confronted with the prospect of mesh removal based on speculation/informed guessing, and without absolute confirmation of the problem. Anyway, I’m starting to veer off topic.
I found another doc who spent more time with me. He’s given me two cortisone shots. Had one 11 months ago, and had a follow up 1 month ago. They helped resolve the perpetual bruising on my pubic bone. Still get sharp jabs with movement though. Any weight lifting sets me up for discomfort the following day. I was glad he actually took ‘somebody else’s problem.’ Now, he’s starting to recommend pain management. Am I being passed on? Probably, yes. I mean, what else can the man do?
06/11/2021 at 8:32 am #29354
All that’s to say, you’ll probably be well advised to find somebody else.
06/11/2021 at 1:20 pm #29360
that’s terrible, but not unusual unfortunately.
i didn’t realize you had surgery. what was done? and is this a surgeon that’s widedly known on these forums?
06/12/2021 at 7:44 am #29361
@mitchtom6 and ajm222, thank you for your posts. It means a lot because you probably understand the loneliness that comes in the situation I presented. It’s accentuated when medical personnel don’t listen and you get tossed around. I have certainly experienced it to become a continual grind. Ironically, some people including a couple of employers said I was the most patient person they ever knew. 😀 Because of that maybe I let the grief stretch as much as I did, 5-6 months. People I’ve told reacted with disbelief that questions that would take a doctor less than a minute to answer require waiting by the patient nearly a half year.
I first brought the situation here about a month ago (“Mysterious Post-Surgery Swelling”) trying to find out if such could be a non-hernia, something I believe my surgeon said he found among some of his patients but as yet remains unconfirmed. @ajm222, I think, that post will answer your questions. I came forward with it here only because the hospital staff weren’t getting it confirmed. It seemed they simply were not asking the doctor! Thanks again.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by pinto.
06/12/2021 at 10:10 am #29363
06/12/2021 at 5:18 pm #29372
06/13/2021 at 4:43 pm #29374
06/13/2021 at 6:44 pm #29376
Ah, so a tissue repair. Very interesting. Yeah, that’s a head scratcher. Regardless, you’ve been treated terribly. Totally unacceptable. I’d go elsewhere and just forget about your original surgeon.
I’m doing well. Almost four months post-removal. Have good days and bad, though bad days aren’t bad-bad. I’m not in pain really. Just have some discomfort and tightness that I am hoping will loosen up long-term. Some in the groin, some still all the way up to my rib cage, and some around my trocar incisions. These robotic surgeries I think are a lot rougher on some folks than advertised. Some days I feel really good, and other days not so much. But I feel like I’ve been making progress. Heard from several folks that a year or even two years isn’t unusual when it comes to the baby steps that lead to feeling more ‘normal’ after mesh removal. Still think it was probably good to get it out, but no idea what the long term picture looks like. But I’m basically just living my life and working and doing all my usual stuff around the house and yard, with no major trouble. It just feels more normal on some days and less on others.
At this stage I have harsh opinions about both mesh and robotic surgery. I think the robot was probably necessary to get my mesh out, but they make it seem like peeling all your fascia apart and puffing your entire toros with CO2 is just a walk in the park, when I think for some it can be life altering. I’ll probably never know exactly what was responsible for all of my issues, but I’m starting to think it was both the mesh and the robot. And to think I could have simply had a small incision in my groin and a tissue repair performed in the first place and avoided all of this.
Anyway, I guess even tissue repairs can occasionally have complications. “It’s not just a hernia” indeed. Really wish the medical community would treat hernias much more seriously.
06/13/2021 at 9:13 pm #29377
@HoleintheWall, isn’t that the truth. 😀 Thank you for the post.
@ajm222, I’m glad you’re feeling better and hopefully with some time will have put it all behind you. If I might say, it’s easy for people to feel despair and anger at themselves for choosing the “wrong path.” I can’t say about that but in case it relates, some HT members talked how they went into it with complete trust and lulled into it by our great admiration of docs. (I’m sure it can be hard on docs too.) Unfortunately these members found out that some things were done without their best interests in mind or so it seems. Like putting in more mesh than really needed. And collectively we’ve seen a lot of info here that challenge some of these practices. Again, if it fits, I hope you are able to be easy on yourself and see there are countless people across the world who fell into it as well. Nearly everyday I thank we have the internet and places like HT because otherwise we would be in a total fog about it. At least now there are many resources for us. You were courageous for taking the next step of removal and I applaud you. It must have been right for you But also a big, big step. (Such would scare me!) My best wishes that you’re past any serious pain and eventually mend nicely.
Let me say about tissue repair: “It’s always greener on the other side.” Apparently there are thousands of happy mesh patients. Some have posted here. Great for them. It’s when we have trouble the other side looks greener. It’s easy to see it that way and can make us feel worse. I’ve had to think, “maybe I should’ve gone mesh.” This kind of thinking creeps up on us. @ajm222, your original choice as unfortunate as it seems, might have been better than if done in the local emergency ward. If yours was elective then it likely was better than with a butcher in emergency. Thank you for your sharing.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by pinto.
06/14/2021 at 7:30 am #29381
thanks for the encouragement and thoughts. i do agree. i think i made a good decision at the time based on the info i had. just doesn’t always work out. then made another decision and will be hoping for the best. and i’m hoping your issue gets resolved eventually as well. keep us posted.
10/23/2021 at 6:25 pm #30024drkangParticipant
Today, I first learned in detail about the inconvenience you experienced. I was very surprised too. As the head of the hospital, I can’t help but apologize. Everything is my fault.
One thing I would like to say is that as a doctor I have no reason to shy away from your problems. Rather, I want to quickly find out what is causing the discomfort. As I repeat, COVID-19 has improved somewhat, so please take the time to come to Korea. We will do our best to solve your problem.
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