Should I write letter?

  1. I have a question I would like to throw out there in nursing cyberspace. I have had to have multiple surgeries over the last 2 1/2 years. The surgeon was one that I have known for about 16 years. I worked with him and his whole practice on the floor. After this last surgery (Sept.), I developed complications, I returned and explained that something was wrong. The problem became much worse--I went in to see him because my abd went from 35" to 46" in a matter of a few weeks. He blew me off and said it was stretching (I had ventral hernia repair)
    I contacted office several days later because it was hurting and he made appt for 1 mo later. I probably could of continued to call and insist that he see me--but this symptom has been reason for the last 4 surgeries and I finally decided to seek second opinion.

    Long story short (as I can make it) the other surgeon had me in OR with in days and found about 1500cc fluid and huge hemotoma in abd. Now I don't believe in suing or anything like that--but I would like to write this first surgeon and let him know outcome and my disappointment in how I was treated. Mostly so that maybe he will think twice the next time a patient tries to tell him something. Am I wasting my breath? Personally he is a really nice guy and I used to respect his opinion with his patients.
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    Don't do it if you're planning on going back to him, because it will be very uncomfortable for both of you. If you're not planning on staying in his care, then yeah, if it will make you feel better.
  4. by   GrnHonu99
    I would. Write a letter that is. Maybe he will realize and another pt wont have to go through what you did.
  5. by   edgwow
    I wouldn't believe in suing anybody, unless it happened to me. He blatently did not think you had an issue and it is a good thing you did seek a second opinion. Write to him, write to the Liscensing Bureau. If he treated you this way, there isd a high liklihood that he has treated others in the same manner. As always, in healthcare too, buyer beware. I would talk to a lawyer anyway. If anything, maybe you could get damages and pay off any student loans.
  6. by   SCRN1
    I would want to make it known to him. For one, if it was a receptionist you talked to about making the appointment, he may not even know that you were being put off that long and needs to know that his office staff are not taking patients seriously, which could not only be endangering their health, but also setting him up for a lawsuit.
  7. by   JaxiaKiley
    I would let him know somehow.
  8. by   Bluehair
    I would write him a letter and also send one to his licensing board. I agree with the OP, there may be something innocent to the story like a receptionist or over-protective office staff skewing things. Or he might not be as good as you think. I had an experience where I had some surgery on my right lower leg. Called the surgeon the next morning because my toes and foot were really numb, a little pale and I was worried re: circulation issues. Rewrapped leg dressings with some improvement but really numb. He didn't seem concerned so I didn't get concerned either. Long story later I have permanent nerve damage. Function is fine but sensation never returned completely. Low and behold he had multiple law suits against him but I never knew that 'til he fled town. If you don't at least mention it to someone you may never know what is going on behind the scenes.
    I understand how awkward it can be to go back to working in the same environment he is. You don't have to make the letter caustic, but it might be good to at least explain what happened later so he doesn't blow off another patient so quickly in the future.
    Good luck!
  9. by   zumalong
    Thanks for the replies--I am definately going to send a letter. Also, I heard his nurse tell him when I called about increasing pain and abd girth, so receptionist is off hook. I got copy of operative report from new surgeon and am going to include copy of this to him. Mostly if I don't then I am not being an advocate to myself and any of his future patients. Never thought of reporting to medical board. I must think on this.
  10. by   Jolie
    I would encourage you to write the letter.

    I suffered serious complications from a mis-diagnosis made by my primary doctor's partner. (My primary was out of town.) I don't believe for a minute that his actions were intentional, but he did cut corners that led to my mis-diagnosis and complications. Because of my insurance, I had to stay with this group, and I liked and trusted my primary, but was unwilling to take a chance on being turfed to her partner again. I made an appointment with the partner and calmly discussed my concerns. I was not interested in suing, either, but wanted to know that I would receive better care in the future, and also that no other patient would have to go thru what I did.

    I was glad that I did so. I cleared the air, and felt confident that his mistake would not be repeated.

    Best of luck to you.
  11. by   NicoleRN07
    4 yrs ago when I was pregnant with my first child, I saw an OB doc, that both I and my mother had worked with and knew very well. About 14 weeks into my pregnancy, I started bleeding heavily and went into the office to see him. He did an ultrasound, and told me that I have had a partial spontaneous abortion and needed a D & C immediately. I disagreed to do it as emergency, but scheduled it for a couple days later b/c I felt that something wasn't right. I went home, made an appointment with another doctor for the following day. On that appointment, I had yet another US, and guess what....I hadn't miscarried at all...My son had a heartbeat!!! I was mortified that I could have aborted my son, so I made an appointment to speak with the doctor who had misdiagnosed me. We talked it over, there were no hard feelings, and I felt much better after letting him know how disappointed I was. He offered me free services, I did not accept, telling him I just didn't feel that I could trust him as my MD any longer, but I thanked him for all he had done. Now, it is awkward to run into him in the hospital....but, I felt that was the right thing to do.
  12. by   Haunted
    I had a rotten experience with a GYN I had been going to for routine exams that just snowballed and it truly was all her fault. I never said a word to her but I made it VERY clear to my friends, family and co workers what had happened and discouraged them from seeking medical attention from her. I few of my coworkers quickly changed GYN's and couldn't believe how much better they were treated.

    There should be some kind of consumer website that allows feedback on healthcare professionals.
  13. by   gr8rnpjt
    I believe you should write the letter. And don't make the mistake of continuing to see him in practice because you had a long relationship in the past. If a dr loses your trust, he is no good to you as a provider of services.

    I had a similar situation with a group of pediatricians whom I trusted wth my childrens lives. My oldes two went to this group with no problem. My third daughter had jaundice at birth and I had a couple of minor squabbles with a female pediatrician in the group. (breastfeeding issues) After the first month things became better and on her one month appointment we were scheduled with a new female pediatrician in the group. everything looked good but at the last minute I said something about the cord which was still attached. It was black on top yellow at the connection to the umbilicus. I really wasn't concerned but she ran out and got a silver nitrate stick. She explained she could help it along and started swabbing all around the umbilicus. By the time we got home, there was sloughing of the skin around it adn by evening she was screaming in pain. We took her to the ER and the doctor said the best thing to do was keep an antibiotic ointment on it till "the burn" healed. The next morning I called the pediatricians office and demanded an appointment to deal with "the burn". We made the appointment but an hour later the ER dr had called us and said he could not get our daughter "off his mind" and said we should consider that this may be a yeast infection on the cord. I asked him who he knows at the peds office. By the time I got her to the peds office she had a 2 inch circle on her abdomen with raw skin. The female pediatrician whom I had squabbled with before came in and smelled the area and said this is a yeast infection clean it with alcohol. SO, I took my baby home and tried to clean her "yeast infection" with alcohol. Yes, so imagine her scream when the alcoholl hit the raw skin. By this time I was beside myself. My daughter was moaning in her sleep (1 month old)
    I took her that afternoon to the other large peds group at our hospital. The office manager ushered us in and was so kind. The pediatrician in the new group came in and took one look at her and said, "this is a chemical burn from silver nitrate". I about kissed him.
    I fired off a letter to the whole group. I explained that our entire family was changing to the other peds group and please forward all records. I told them I would be speaking to an attorney about the whole matter. I never darkened their door again. I also told every family with children that I came into contact with about what happened to our child with this group. I can say that I probably had influence on at least 50 families as to which group they went with.
    Write the letter. You will feel much better.
  14. by   ZootRN
    You should see a lawyer. He would write a much nicer letter on your behalf.

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