Pre-surgery fears

Posted , 2 users are following.

Many patients fear surgery. Actually doctors can fear surgery as well. As an orthopedic patient who faced 2 shoulder surgeries - 1 on each shoulder for massive rotator cuff repairs - I had 1 doctor who was on the orthopedic staff at the clinic who had a torn bicep and confided that he was afraid to have it repaired. Instead he settled for cortisone shots.

I think what helps people face the fear of surgery is faith in the surgeon who will perform the surgery. I did a tremendous amount of research on the surgeon I chose. His credentials were impressive: he came from a family of surgeons, he had graduated with honors, was an instructor at a world famous university, and he was also a humanitarian who volunteered his medical services in 3rd world countries. So I knew that he was not only skilled and experienced, but he actually gave a damn about people. He was frank and honest with me regarding my surgery and what to expect. This also alleviated apprehension.

The surgeon also explained his preference for a particular hospital to have the surgery in because he had confidence in the team of nurses, anaesthesiologists, and other staff there. This also reassured me. A surgery requires a skilled coordinated team.

If you are going to have to have surgery, I hope you can have the choice of choosing someone you can have some knowledge of their ability and skills to give you some confidence and help you not feel so anxious. Remember to address your fears with your surgeon and he/she should be able to explain things to you and make you feel more at ease.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for posting this Mike. I am sure this and your other posts will help many facing this same dilemma. it is a daunting surgery to face but I see many go through it and survive just fine.

    The waiting and wondering is not fun but as meryl said, we have to have faith in the doctor and know we will get through it, even the not so pleasant times.

    I have given child birth three times, had an appendectomy and been near tears during PT. I can tolerate pain pretty well. Hoping that serves me well.

    I chose my surgeon because my BIL had two rotator cuff surgeries done by him and he treats my SIL for rotator cuff tears.

    I liked that he was conservative and did not immediately want to rush me into surgery. He is patient and very soft spoken, kind.

    I cannot say he takes loads of time with me but he does ask if I have any questions and did explain everything to me and he knows I am nervous.

    The other specialist who was mentioned to me is top dog in surgery for shoulders has a very bad side manner and sees many patients. I have heard his practice is like an assembly line. Luckily I worked in the medical field for years and know which doctors to stay away from. 😃

    Your doctor sounds like an angel.

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    • Posted

      This is interesting. You chose the surgeon with the kind bedside manner over the one who may be more skilled but does things in an assembly line fashion.

      Actually my surgeon did do I guess what you call assembly line surgeries scheduling them one after another. I guess that's the way the system is. I remember when I was at the hospital there was a young girl who he was going to do hip surgery on either before or after he did my shoulder. There may have been other patients as well he operated on that day. I don't know.

      What was the dealbreaker for me were the reviews online of my surgeon by patients who were satisfied with his work. Sometimes the person who does the most surgeries is the best . I don't know, as each case may be different as there are many types of personalities and skill levels.

      I think you will be ok. Try and relax and have some fun during your vacation. It's the pre-surgery that seems to be the most trying, once you've had it done you can at least be relieved that you are on the road to recovery and your surgeon and especially physical therapist should keep your morale up and informed on your progress.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Mike. I chose to try this doctor due to my BIL's recommendation.

      He was the only orthopedic who ordered an MRI for my shoulder. I saw two doctors and two PA's in 5 years due to the ongoing pain with no relief with PT. The first doctor would not even do any imaging. The second person I saw (the PA) thought the lump in my bicep was due to getting a flu shot. She did order a cat scan but only of my bicep, not my shoulder.

      Unfortunately all but my doctor I have now felt because I had ROM I must not have any type of tear or issue that would need more than a bit of PT

      My doctor said the lump on my bicep was due to overuse and said it was a classic sign. He ordered an MRI right away.

      So I made the decision to stick with him based on more than just kindness. unlike the other three doctors he took my symptoms seriously and spent the time to actually listen to me. The other three I saw in the span of five years pretty much wrote me off as needing more PT and acted like I was overreacting. BTW the doctor who does the most shoulder surgeries? He would not see me until I saw his PA and was diagnosed with a rotator cuff tear. He wont see you unless you need surgery. His PA was the one who only did an X ray and said I needed more PT.

      I bet there are lots of stories out there of people who are treated the same way.

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    • Posted

      I bet there are lots of stories out there of people who are treated the same way.

      In America...right? I wonder if other rotator cuff patients have the same problems Americans do.

      It's really a crime that a patient is forced to suffer and not given imaging tests because of costs. You'd like to think that people in the healthcare profession are there with a desire to help people and not just make money and enable a greed based system, even if going against that system risks their jobs. But now we enter into a discussion of morality and character in a day and age when the bottom line is $$$.

      This adds to the paranoia and lack of faith patients have in their doctors and other healthcare staff.

      It's really a shame that people have to oftentimes come on here for knowledge and advice that should be freely and openly given in the first place to people who need it.

      Sounds like you have the best possible doctor and course of action and it should work out fine.

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    • Posted

      Mike are you not in America? lol

      Honestly part of it may be due to the doctor or PA knowing insurance wont pay for an MRI directly after having a cat scan. Insurances have gotten so bad at dictating what we can and cannot have.

      i had a friend go to the hospital with an ankle injury, lots of pain.

      insurance would not approve cat scan or MRI. Wanted PT first. She did 8 weeks no relief. Finally paid for imaging. Hairline fractures in her ankle.

      You think PT helped that? Weight bearing and exercises? Dont get me started!

      The other issue is poor doctoring, thinking they know better, do not listen and are so arrogant they dismiss you and what you tell them

      i have seen it many times in my years working. I knew who was good and who wasn't. Sadly the one ortho group at my hospital I like as people but dont necessarily trust to do my shoulder. i had to go to another part of the state and a better group.

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