View Full Version : Doctors...can they do this? Is this right?

01-22-2010, 02:06 PM
I went in for minor surgery (hysteroscopy) on the 18th. Came out of it ok, healed up quickly, and all was fine. I was relieved and hopeful that it would help. Then my mom let something slip in a convo 3 days after my surgery...she said that they didn't finish what they went in for because it couldn't be completed and the polyp was too large, etc...etc...and that I would have to have surgery again...at least, this is what the Dr. told my sister in the waiting room.

She told my sister, in brief, that if just a scraping out of my uterus (I just paid HOW MUCH for a uterine deep cleaning????) doesn't help, my next step will be a partial or total hysterectomy?! Which of course, they couldn't do while I was under because I have a choice...apparently. Though my sister said the Dr. told her with a partial removal of the muscle, there would be a good chance of regrowth.

The Dr. has NOT contacted me. Is that right? My post op. appt. isn't until Feb. 16, almost a month after my surgery. Is it right that she tell my sister in the waiting room what is going on but assume I'll wait till Feb. 16 to discuss anything? I'm irritated, I want a second opinion, I want to see the pictures, and I want to know what is going on, above all else, I want to know if there are any other options. I want to know..how large is large? Is it actually a polyp or a fibroid?

Is this a righteous anger, or am I just being a total bitch? My sister assumed the Doc talked to me. She thought I didn't want to talk about it, so left it alone. Until I had that convo with my mom where I mentioned the Doc thinking some of my pain might be bowel related, and mom said "But they did find that mass." and I said, "What mass?"...I was totally in the dark.

01-22-2010, 02:14 PM
You need to call your doc's office ASAP and tell them this happened. Follow it up with a letter stating same. You should have been made aware of the situation by him directly. Also, unless you told him in writing that he could discuss your medical info with your sister, then he should NOT have done so. I am sure he meant no malice and likely told her first because you were in recovery and may not have been able to register it all, so your sister being there, he assumed he could fill her in. He may have intended to tell you too, but he got caught up in other stuff and figured your sister would tell you what he said and that he would go over it all with you in your follow-up. HOWEVER, again he should know that this was not appropriate and that you are very unhappy that it happened. I don't know how far you want to take it, or legally how far you can take it if you're thinking along those lines, but he should know how upset you are about it.

01-22-2010, 02:21 PM
I tried to call today...the phone number isn't working, and it's the only one on the site. Arg. Guess I could try through the hospital, but I'll send an email first.

01-22-2010, 02:41 PM
I would try 'phoning through the hospital. What this doctor did was in no way acceptable. My mom has had multiple minor and major surgeries and they've still explained everything to her and followed up with phone calls. Write a letter to the hospital to let them know what happened, and send your doctor a copy directly. I would write a draft of a letter to your insurance company while everything is fresh in your mind, just in case you need it to justify some cost they should pay down the road.

01-22-2010, 03:11 PM
I tried to call today...the phone number isn't working, and it's the only one on the site. Arg. Guess I could try through the hospital, but I'll send an email first.

Go through the hospital. Dont just "send an email".

01-22-2010, 04:46 PM
Pick up the phone and SCREAM. Phone the director of the hospital if you need to. Your doctor gives information to YOU. Not your sister, not your mother, YOU.

Personally? I'd have his ass in a sling.

01-22-2010, 06:10 PM
The hospital may have some sort of patient advocate that can help you, but I also would look for a good malpractice lawyer just in case. It may help to scare the shit out of the doctor.

01-22-2010, 06:14 PM
I don't care if he gave info to your family in the waiting room, he should have restated it to you. Even when I'm the "next of kin" in the waiting room for family during a surgery the surgical nurses OR doctor have always gone in and gone over the findings with the person once they were out of sedation and lucid.

01-22-2010, 06:23 PM
While the doctor SHOULD have given YOU the information, there is usually someone out in the waiting room who is named by YOU as the person to drive you home, etc. When I had my surgery, the doc gave me as much information as possible to begin with, before the meds were administered, and after surgery, spoke with my representative out in the waiting room, AND left the information for the nurses to give me before I left (no complications or anything), and the following day they called to check on me and go over the results of any tests they already had back.

Back in the summer, when one of my friends had inpatient surgery and I was the person in the waiting room (as family members couldn't be there), the OR nurse called and spoke with me, then the doc came out and gave me an update when he was available, and while she was still in recovery. By the time I got to see her in ICU a couple of hours later, she had been given the same information by the nurses that I had.

I would say absolutely go through the hospital to get contact information for the doctor if you can't get in anywhere else, AND let the hospital know that you are unhappy with the service provided. I would also go ahead and mail letters, CERTIFIED MAIL to prove that they received them, to the doctor, the hospital and the insurance company, outlining the events and the reason you are unhappy with the way it was handled.

Redbird Annie Cardinal
01-22-2010, 07:11 PM
When I had a hysterectomy 11 years ago, it was then the doctor found the cysts on my kidneys that would eventually cause my kidneys to fail, and 3 years later I had a kidney transplant.

While I was in the recovery room, the doctor went out and told this to my husband. When I got to the room, he told the same to me, but honestly, right after surgery, I was so groggy, he could have told me the hospital was blowing up, and I wouldn't have understood a thing or remembered what he told me.

Actually, the next day, when he came in to give me the name of the kidney doctor (before my husband got there in the morning), I had no clue why he was giving it to me, because I was too out of it to comprehend the day of the surgery.

So maybe he did tell you, and you were under the effects, but he also told your sister in the waiting room for the same reason. This also happened when the doctor came out to tell me my mother had inoperable cancer. She had no clue until I brought it up, even though the doctor told her when she woke up from the anesthesia.

01-22-2010, 08:46 PM
I know that when I had surgery on my back almost a decade ago, one time the doctor came in to the room to talk to me (a week stay) and I remember him coming in, and then leaving. I had no memory of what was said. I'm glad my parents were there (I was a minor at 16 but still).

Isabelle Warwicke
01-23-2010, 01:47 AM
Pick up the phone and SCREAM. Phone the director of the hospital if you need to. Your doctor gives information to YOU. Not your sister, not your mother, YOU.

Personally? I'd have his ass in a sling.

THiS! All of this. Plus 1.

HIPPA violations abound here. I was standing in my great-grandmother's room, holding her hand while she told me that I was the future of our family and they wouldn't even give me her blood pressure stats without her signature.

You have every right to have righteous anger.

01-23-2010, 01:54 AM
She came into the recovery room and told me it went fine and everything is ok. That is all I remember, one sentence. I was in my hospital room long enough that she could have stopped by...but perhaps she was busy, that's cool...but why no phone call? I was definitely coherent enough after the first day, or even the second...I was back at work by then. But she apparently didn't even tell Donna to talk to me about it at all. Maybe she expected her to spill the beans. lol And here she thought I just didn't want to talk about it.

I don't have insurance, and that's part of my frustration. Even minor surgery is not cheap, and it seems I'm pouring more and more monies that I don't have into things that aren't even solving my problem. Thousands of dollars just to be told now you probably have to have a 30k procedure? It's overwhelming how stressful this is.

01-23-2010, 02:23 AM
On the bright side, between the massive HIPPA violations and the malpractice lawsuits you could potentially file for not giving adequate aftercare instructions, you could probably get the money to pay for the 30k surgery. :-)

Seriously though, definitely lodge formal complaints both with the doctor and with the administration at the hospital. Unless you expressly gave her permission to tell your sister what was going on, it's a HIPPA violation. At best, the lack of information given to you by your doctor is gross negligence, since she didn't bother to tell you about the mass she found when performing the procedure.

01-23-2010, 11:13 AM
Don't forget the AMA.... without reporting incidents to the AMA a doctor can go on hurting people and violating their rights endlessly.

Mistress Morigianna
01-24-2010, 12:41 AM
i would also want a copy of my records pronto.- go get them before you get nasty because they might change.......

you have the right to your records you may have to pay a copying fee.

01-24-2010, 09:04 PM
I had my tubes tied last year. Luckily, I had it done the old-fashioned way, as there was a huge amount of endrometriosis that he cleaned up as well. But while waiting for me to wake up, he told my hubby that I should rest up for at least 2 days, take my pain meds, and schedule a follow-up in 3 months. It's completely possible that he told me the same thing, but I don't remeber. He was in the next surgery by the time I was awake enough to even be coherent about directions.

Doctors are strange people. Some are completely incapable of talking to their patients. Absolutely, get the doc on the phone (minimum) or get a office appointment (better) to go through what happened in the OR and what needs to happen now.