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Frustrated - Canceled Surgery: Advice?



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I was scheduled for Feb 2, everything was on track… but then I got covid the beginning of January so I was feeling rather rough. I got a call last week from my surgeons office, they needed to reschedule my pre-surgery consult due to the surgeon having to shuffle his surgery schedule - originally scheduled for this week (no big deal).

When talking to his office scheduler I mentioned I needed an end of day appointment - I understood that may push me out a bit but my husband wanted to come and as he had just been in quarantine he wouldn’t be able to take off for a day time appointment right away. Our original appointment was at 4, we were asking for an appt after 3:15 if possible. This was our last chance to ask questions of the surgeon and honestly my first appointment with him was not one that left me confident. In fact there were a few different times when going through appointments with various people through this program… my husband and I both questioned is this the right place/program?

Well the last straw for me was when the scheduler essentially blew me off asking “this really is a very brief appointment - does your husband really need to be there?”

I was dumbfounded… Ummm yes, he’s my primary supporter, he’s the one who will be helping me through this and I’m blessed he’s been so amazing throughout this process. I told her I would call her back. I immediately told my husband about the exchange and expressed my concerns. He agreed they had been dismissive in other areas and agreed he was not entirely comfortable with this program, but was supportive of whatever I wanted to do.

I took a few days to think about it and during that time the practice manager reached out to me to reschedule but I relayed to her that while my program coordinator was amazing, I had several other appointments where my concerns and questions were dismissed and my initial appointment with the surgeon left me with more questions than I had answers. At this time I didn’t feel moving forward with their program was the right decision for me and I was going to be looking elsewhere to find a new program. So essentially I fired my surgeon.

I know that I was having reservations about this surgery right from the beginning… and I had red flags that I kept discussing with my husband - things that just didn’t feel quite right. Now I am overwhelmed at starting the process all over again - looking for a new program… wondering will it be the same somewhere else? Did I do the right thing or was I just not feeling well and over reacted?

Obviously I’m second guessing myself … I think I did the right thing. But now I don’t know what the next step is or where to start over at.

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I have always gone through life believing in my gut. If it don't feel right then run away. Its always kept me safe. You did the right thing. These guys were too comfortable and complacent, thats when stuff goes wrong.

I am sure the great people on your continent can tell you if you have to start at the beginning or if you can carry forward all your hard work . Fingers crossed. Good luck with what ever you decide to do

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On 01/18/2022 at 12:05, summerseeker said:



I have always gone through life believing in my gut. If it don't feel right then run away. Its always kept me safe. You did the right thing. These guys were too comfortable and complacent, thats when stuff goes wrong.




I am sure the great people on your continent can tell you if you have to start at the beginning or if you can carry forward all your hard work . Fingers crossed. Good luck with what ever you decide to do


Thank you… I appreciate your kindness.

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You gotta trust your gut. You won't have to start from scratch, just a new surgeon consultation and surgery approval date. You've already done all the rest.

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If you are not comfortable with them, then you did the right thing. See if another surgeon will pick up where you left off .good luck!

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When i had my first surgeon appointment the paperwork literally said bring someone as your support. But i did not. The appointment with the actual surgeon lasted maybe 3-4 minutes. Bet the pre op appointment will be the same. but yea go with someone else if you dont like them or feel comfortable.

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Thank you all so much. I don’t know why I feel bad for trusting my instincts - because that would be the same advice I would give someone else. But for some reason I feel bad… like I did something wrong.

I should have trusted my gut after that first appointment. When I asked the surgeon questions he would completely dismiss my concerns like I was being ridiculous. I asked about gas pains after surgery - he said “that’s ridiculous, it doesn’t happen - pain, if you have any, is from the the instruments and surgery not gas”.

I also expressed concerns over my enlarged liver - test showed it 3x the expected volume, I asked if there was any concern about it being enlarged or extended time on a pre-op diet to address… He never looked at my tests - he didn’t even see the results (another dr had ordered it - but I had the information available) … he just rolled his eyes and said “not a concern - I’ll just move it out of my way and biopsy it if it’s not smooth, if that makes you feel better”.

I’ve dealt with surgeons before, I understand they have a singular focus and can be short on bedside manor … but he literally scoffed at every question my husband or I asked and then got up and walked out of the room saying “follow me” … we both thought he was taking us to talk to someone else, like a nurse or something… and pointed to us to check out.

The program coordinator was very kind and tried to be helpful… but the nutritionist was not at all helpful and pretty much scolded me if I answered a question the wrong way - like, I gave you the answers just use those.

It felt less like they were looking at me as an individual patient and more like “this is what you have to do to get approved - say this - this and this”.

I want to do well and be successful … not just get approved and be cut open. Because we all know it takes more than the surgery to be successful. I’m sure there are many people who have gone through this program and done well … I just think that it may not be the right surgeon or office for me … and that’s ok.

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Do what is right for you. I was very far into the process with my first practice, a well known university hospital, when I started to get frustrated by their lack of communication and responsiveness. The surgeon at this practice was actually my favorite part, but the rest was a mess. The nutritionist was a joke - she didn't understand why I was at the appointment because I was self pay! I was pretty annoyed by it all and considering switching practices, and then COVID hit. While I didn't expect to have a surgery scheduled, they made no effort to communicate with me. They completely disappeared and were non-responsive. Is it possible they were assisting with COVID response? Yes, but I doubt that the coordinators and non-nurse/surgeon staff were engaged at the hospital and caring for patients. A simple communication saying: everything is on hold until further notice, we will be in touch would have been great, but I got the opposite, and it just solidified my decision to contact other practices and look at other options.

These other options were extremely responsive, even as COVID shut down elective surgeries for months. The program I wound up switching to was also University affiliated (Johns Hopkins) but less flashy and $10k cheaper - which as a self pay patient was huge! The nutrition classes were organized and very oriented toward ensuring patients are more likely to have long term success. I didn't feel like a number! Less money, more responsiveness, and all in all, a much better and comprehensive experience. I wound up getting my surgery a lot later than I originally hoped because of the change in practice, COVID, and my own slowness in getting all the practice prereqs done, but in the end, it was the right move.

All this is to say - trust your gut! This is a big life change and you need to feel good about the people you are working with across the board. It also extends to being able to have the support YOU need, which in this case is your husband at the meeting.

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I understand your feelings completely and I’m in the same situation which gives me a little peace of mind. Similar situation happened with me. I was at the end of my 6 months, had done all the preop etc. I got covid so I had to reschedule. My husband took off because my program requires you bring binder and support person to last appointment. They even threaten if you don’t “the doctor may not see you!” I waited for over 3 1/2 hours in the office and MD still didn’t show up and no one told us why. I left because I had to go back to work. My whole time in the program I never met my surgeon and I knew that I had to to have peace of mind. There were, like you said, little red flags along the way. I think I ignored them thinking I was being too critical, I’m a nurse and tend to be very picky about healthcare situations. But I think we should trust our gut, maybe it’s a way to avoid a bad issue. We never know the what if’s but we do need peace of mind when someone is operating on us. Mental is half of it anyway. I’m starting a new program, new doctor with first appointment tomorrow. Good luck to you too in starting with someone new.

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Something that has helped me as well is to think even if this takes the whole 6 months of me restarting the entire program…it gives me all that more time to improve my eating habits, get mentally prepared, and keep working on me. In the end that can only help us be more successful.

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On 1/18/2022 at 2:22 PM, LookingForward22 said:

Thank you all so much. I don’t know why I feel bad for trusting my instincts - because that would be the same advice I would give someone else. But for some reason I feel bad… like I did something wrong.

I should have trusted my gut after that first appointment. When I asked the surgeon questions he would completely dismiss my concerns like I was being ridiculous. I asked about gas pains after surgery - he said “that’s ridiculous, it doesn’t happen - pain, if you have any, is from the the instruments and surgery not gas”.

I also expressed concerns over my enlarged liver - test showed it 3x the expected volume, I asked if there was any concern about it being enlarged or extended time on a pre-op diet to address… He never looked at my tests - he didn’t even see the results (another dr had ordered it - but I had the information available) … he just rolled his eyes and said “not a concern - I’ll just move it out of my way and biopsy it if it’s not smooth, if that makes you feel better”.

I’ve dealt with surgeons before, I understand they have a singular focus and can be short on bedside manor … but he literally scoffed at every question my husband or I asked and then got up and walked out of the room saying “follow me” … we both thought he was taking us to talk to someone else, like a nurse or something… and pointed to us to check out.

The program coordinator was very kind and tried to be helpful… but the nutritionist was not at all helpful and pretty much scolded me if I answered a question the wrong way - like, I gave you the answers just use those.

It felt less like they were looking at me as an individual patient and more like “this is what you have to do to get approved - say this - this and this”.

I want to do well and be successful … not just get approved and be cut open. Because we all know it takes more than the surgery to be successful. I’m sure there are many people who have gone through this program and done well … I just think that it may not be the right surgeon or office for me … and that’s ok.

Yikes! Those interactions were filled with red flags, glad you made the change.

Edited by GreenTealael

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