Sent letter to first surgeon who played waiting game.

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So I decided that I wanted the first surgeon to know what ended up happening after he decided what my course of treatment should be after my appointment on April 30th.

So I wrote a letter and put a lot of thought into it, and asked some friends in the medical field with help writing it.

I didn't want to be rude, but I wanted him to see things from my perspective and what I had gone through up to the point I was in the hospital and then afterwards when I decided to go for a second opinion.

Here is the letter I wrote.

Is it too harsh? Or did I get my point across?

Dr. XXXXXXX,

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for treating me while I was in XXXXXXXXXX Medical Center on April 13-15, 2015 with what the ER doctors thought was a bad gallbladder, and also my follow up appointment on April 30th, 2015 in your office.

After being presented with the treatment plan (another month on the BRAT diet, and Reglan instead of Zofran to see if it helped with my nausea) I decided to do some research on my own, listened to my body and decided to seek out a second opinion on my case.

By the time of my appointment on April 30th, I had been on the BRAT/soft diet for close to 3 months. I had a stress test, 2 ultrasounds, an upper gi, an endoscopy, a HIDA scan, and countless blood work. Even while I was following the restricted diet, I was still getting sick after every meal, and was losing considerable amounts of weight. I was miserable and in pain every day. I got to the point where I dreaded eating because I knew 60-90 minutes later, I would be sick. I had to give up hockey because I didn't have the physical energy to play because of the diet. In the end I had to listen to my body because I wasn't getting better.

The surgeon who I went to see for my second opinion came to the conclusion that my issues were more than likely being caused by a bad gallbladder. They recommended that I have it removed. They went over the pros and cons of the surgery and that in their cases, the removal of the gallbladder relieved the symptoms in 75% of the cases. They left the decision up to me and after careful consideration and thought; I went ahead with the surgery. The surgeon also had me have a CT scan before the surgery to make sure there weren't any other issues. The only other issue it showed was that I had a fatty liver.

I had the surgery on June 8th. I was kept overnight due to some excessive bleeding when they performed the liver biopsy, due to my fatty liver. The next morning, I had breakfast and lunch at the hospital before being discharged and for the first time in 4-5 months, I didn't experience any pain, nausea or dry heaving after eating. At my follow up last week, the surgeon told me that my gallbladder showed signs of chronic disease and contained 7-10 stones. The surgeon also told me that they see at on average a case a week like mine where all the tests come back normal, but the gallbladder is the culprit causing all the issues.

Since the surgery, I have not had a single symptom that I had experienced during the previous 4-5 months. My appetite has returned. My eating habits have returned to close to normal. I don’t feel sick anymore after eating. I don’t get nauseated or dry heave. I don’t experience any pain in my back or under my ribcage after I eat. I haven’t had to take a single Zofran either.

Again, I wanted to say thank you for attending to my medical needs while I was under your care, but I am relieved that I was able to find a surgeon who was flexible enough to take their patients input and concerns into consideration as well.

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    I don't think it's too harsh at all.....maybe not harsh enough!  No, really, he should get the point. 
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    • Posted

      I didn't want to come across like I was blaming him for not taking my gallbladder out sooner, but after being hospitalized with classic gallbladder symptoms, and the months of stuff I endured before it, for him not even to listen to me, and just "stay the course", was defeating. I know surgery is a last resort, but I had been run through the gauntlet with tests and wasn't getting better. The second surgeon was a godsend. She knew right away what I was dealing with.
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    • Posted

      I don't think you come across as blaming him.  it was well thought out and hopefully will make him think and change the way he practices.  But at least he wasn't one who just wanted to do surgery and would take it out regardless.  Got to be careful of them too!! lol  The surgeon I have been dealing with....every time I tell him where/how my discomfort it, he looks at me, like "no, that doesn't sound like your gallbladder".  I know he doesn't want to do surgery willy-nilly, but if he's leaving it up to me, I don't know whether to have the surgery or not.  Stuck.
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    • Posted

      hi MadabbI'm in the same boat as you

      first surgeon said he didn't think it was my gall bladder even though I have gall stones he sent me for a MRI on my back as he thinks it is that causing my pain it came back general wear and tear,so i asked to see another surgeon and this one thought the same but was willing to take my gb out but it was up to me and he said I had only a 1 in 3 chance that I would still be in pain,told me to go away and think about it.next day went to pain clinic and they are going to do facet injections in my spine to see if that takes my pain away.thought I had 18 weeks to decide but got appointment for next month,decide to delay the op unti I can get the injections done don't want to have the op if its not going to help,so hoping to get injections dones first.I think they leave it up to you to decide then its done to you if things don't so as well as you would hope.I tiring out the milk thistle and apple cider to see if I can disolve my gall stones.i know how you feel not knowing what to do.good luck with your decision and I hope it all works out for you.keep in touch

      Pat

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  • Posted

    Wow this could be me . I am having the same sort of battle although now the consultant has agreed to take out my GB but he says my symptoms arent typical! I think its a brillaint letter and  may be it may actually make hims top and think whilst treating others in the future. smile
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    • Posted

      Just also to add thank you so much for sharing as this has really made me feel so much better about it all smile
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    • Posted

      I don't expect a reply from him, but I just wanted him to realize that not all cases should be based off of test results. I had 2 ultrasounds and both shows NO stones, but when they examined the gallbladder, they found 7-10 medium sized ones.

      I truly hope that the letter opens his eyes to take his patients input into his decisions as well.

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  • Posted

    Hi Tommy boy!  Very well written letter! Not rude at all, just told him or her the facts. Glad your ok now. Again Well done with the letter!  Val.
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  • Posted

    Excellent letter. I just wish more patients had the courage to get a second opinion.

    Sarah

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    • Posted

      It was tough making the decision to get a second opinion. I fought with it for a few weeks before I decided to call. But I knew I had to do what was best for me and see if another surgeon thought the same thing.
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