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A penny for your thoughts...



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Dear all.. I'd like your help with something and please try to keep your responses to constructive criticism. I have been having problems with the way my surgeon's office is dealing with responding to questions. They seem to be practicing something called "selective responding" meaning sometimes I get a response to a relatively irrelevant question immediately and fully but oftentimes I will have to ask again even if it's something important. Sometimes I will get the whole answer but oftentimes I will get only a partial answer and I will have to ask again or even find another person at that office who is more responsive.

While I know this isn't necessarily an indication of the skill of the surgeon it still has me tremendously annoyed and worried about how I will get answers to my questions post-op and on some level I do see the staff of a specialist as an extension of their business practice.

So here I am, insurance approved, all requirements out of the way and just waiting for my October 10 surgery date and increasingly annoyed at this. I plan on drafting an email to his staff and would like your thoughts on how exactly to voice my frustration.

Please let me know your thoughts.

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If the partial/non-existent answers are coming to emails, I would suggest calling them to get the information you need. I would also hold off on any
"relatively irrelevant" questions so that they can prioritize getting back to you on the important stuff. I like to keep an open note on my phone to jot down a running list of stuff to go over with my surgeon's office at each appointment. If it's something I need to know right away, I'll send them a message, but if it's something I'm just curious about or can wait until my next appointment, I save it.

The other thing that might be causing problems is if you're asking multiple questions in 1 email that need to be answered by different people/departments within the surgeon's office. I would recommend sending emails to the specific people you need to answer each question, and not lumping them into 1 since it's easy to get lost in the office shuffle that way.

Good luck!


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I would like to play devil's advocate here, and ask how many times you have emailed and/or called them with questions? Are you writing the questions down and asking your doctor during your scheduled appointments?

I didn't have alot of back and forth with my surgeon no pre-op. I didn't even meet him until the day of surgery. I got most of my sleeve 101 right here on BP. I'm pretty sure most aftercare will involve a psych and a nut. Hopefully your psych and nut aren't in the same office...

They could be a very busy office, or maybe a terribly run one. Either way, I think drafting a letter just puts a target on your back. They will like you less, and every interaction will now be more hostile, or forced politeness.

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12 hours ago, SeaShells82 said:

If the partial/non-existent answers are coming to emails, I would suggest calling them to get the information you need. I would also hold off on any
"relatively irrelevant" questions so that they can prioritize getting back to you on the important stuff. I like to keep an open note on my phone to jot down a running list of stuff to go over with my surgeon's office at each appointment. If it's something I need to know right away, I'll send them a message, but if it's something I'm just curious about or can wait until my next appointment, I save it.

The other thing that might be causing problems is if you're asking multiple questions in 1 email that need to be answered by different people/departments within the surgeon's office. I would recommend sending emails to the specific people you need to answer each question, and not lumping them into 1 since it's easy to get lost in the office shuffle that way.

Good luck!

12 hours ago, Ldyvenus said:

I would like to play devil's advocate here, and ask how many times you have emailed and/or called them with questions? Are you writing the questions down and asking your doctor during your scheduled appointments?

I didn't have alot of back and forth with my surgeon no pre-op. I didn't even meet him until the day of surgery. I got most of my sleeve 101 right here on BP. I'm pretty sure most aftercare will involve a psych and a nut. Hopefully your psych and nut aren't in the same office...

They could be a very busy office, or maybe a terribly run one. Either way, I think drafting a letter just puts a target on your back. They will like you less, and every interaction will now be more hostile, or forced politeness.

Thank you both. Calmer heads prevail thanks to you both; you are of course right! I also noticed that my frustration hasn't disappeared with the drafting of the message and vending on this board which tells me the actual problem lies with me being nervous because clearly the office was like this from the get go, this isn't something recent. So what has changed? My date has been confirmed and is looming closer so maybe it's just me being nervous.

Also, Ldyvenus... my psych and nut are completely unrelated to my surgeon's office but thanks for pointing that out. It hadn't occured to me how important that would be!

Cheers to you both!

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From my personal experience, any surgeon that doesn't welcome any amount of questions is not someone I would trust with this huge of a life change.

I was all set to go with my first surgeon. Everything cleared, insurance approved, all the tests and then at my pre-op appointment the surgeon was so dismissive of me and my questions, visibly annoyed that I had questions and his staff lied to him about something, pinning the blame on me. I tried to shove down the inner warning bells in my head because I wanted to surgery so bad and didn't want to wait. I kept feeling uneasy about it. (There had been red flags all along with his office and their communication/information. Not to mention they treated me like an idiot.)

I contacted my PCP and asked her opinion. She advised me to seek out someone I was comfortable with. When I got the clearance for the second opinion and went to the new surgeon it was NIGHT and DAY! Not only was his office incredibly competent and quick to correspond, they were all so kind and dignifying . I am so glad I listened to those inner warning bells. Yes, I had to wait an extra 3 months, but it was worth it to be under the care of a wonderful team that treated the whole person, not just the stomach.

Granted, maybe the first guy would have been just fine in surgery. However, I can guarantee you there would have been no after support, nor would I have felt comfortable to ask all the questions that come up post op... and there have been a lot!

Research shows that our bodies actually heal better when we feel heard and trust the practitioner to have our best interest at heart. Maybe your situation isn't as terrible as mine was, but I wouldn't be so quick to think that you're the problem. Any bariatric surgeon worth YOUR stomachs weight should know all the psychological needs that come along with WLS patients and never make you feel like you're the one with the problem for needing answers to your questions. This is just too big of a life change. You're worth getting your questions answered in a respectful, dignifying manner.


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Thank you both as well. Again, the doctor was actually very good on my initial consultation. Took his time, was calm and collected. Answered all my questions... it's his staff I have a problem with and I'm just not sure how much of an extension his staff is when it comes to his reliability and skill.

I shall think on this a bit more. Thanks for the support.

Edited by njgal

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