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Can't get path results

Stward
Posts: 12
Joined: Sep 2010

My husband had his left kidney removed on 9/20/10. He was discharged after 3-1/2 days in the hospital. All we know is that he has renal cell carcinoma. His doctor went on vacation and we can't get the results of the pathology report. We were told we would be told when my husband goes back to see the doctor, which is the end of October. Has anyone else had trouble getting the results of the pathology report? Someone suggested we go to the hospital and get a copy of his reports. We just aren't sure what to do and don't want to wait over a month from surgery to get the results.

Noellesmom
Posts: 1275
Joined: Aug 2010

The test results belong to your husband, not to his doctor, for goodness sake. They can't hold them captive. Of course you don't want to wait a month.

You can try asking politely for a copy to made available to you now. Hopefully, there is a staff member who is compassionate enough to not give you flak about this. If not, tell them you are coming by to pick up a copy and don't ask them, tell them.

Whether or not you can read the results is a different issue.

zinniemay's picture
zinniemay
Posts: 534
Joined: Mar 2009

The Docctor may be on vacation but I am sure the office is open, I would call them and say you need a copy of the report. They can not kept it frpom you. You should ask for a copy every time you for !

Barbara53's picture
Barbara53
Posts: 659
Joined: Aug 2009

That's too long to wait -- surely the doctor will be back before then. Until he/she returns, is a conversation with the doctor's nurse a possibility? As I recall, I got the best info from the visiting nurses who helped with Mom after her surgery. They had a lot of information!

Running down the path report yourself might lead to confusion, because they are not simple to read or interpret and you may come away with wrong ideas. If not an actual visit, I would do my best to schedule a phone call with the doctor at the earliest possible time.

congoody
Posts: 74
Joined: Jan 2010

It is completely out of the question for you to wait a month for this important information - a few options are...

-if you have a family doctor she/he can get a copy of the report on your behalf (you may have to sign something at family doc's office)-
-if this doctor is "on vacation" for a month and has no one there to take his urgent calls (and this is urgent) you may want to get another doctor and in this case you could request that all records be sent urgently to his new physician-
-finally, if no one in the office will help then I think it would be completely reasonable to contact your state (or provincial) medical board and request that they intervene on your behalf - even letting his office know that you are going to contact the medical board is often enough to get them moving and get you to info you so desperately need-

good luck - keep us posted on your quest.

Barbara53's picture
Barbara53
Posts: 659
Joined: Aug 2009

Right on, great advice. What gets to me about all this is the low low level of service. The oncologists' bill for my mother's initial debulking surgery was almost $60,000. Fortunately, the office has always been helpful and responsive, but if they weren't....for that kind of money?

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1611
Joined: Aug 2009

Call your husband's primary care physician and ask him/her to get the report. We did that a couple of times when we were waiting for results. In our case it was only a few days, but we were anxious. Fay

webbwife50
Posts: 395
Joined: Jun 2010

When I was first dx'ed they did a biopsy. The reality is it was just a few day before but when friday rolled around and we still hadn't heard I called and asked who the pathologist was that they were waiting to hear from. After I got his name, I called his office and asked them to please forward their findings immediately and they did before the end of the day. You might give that a try. The waiting can make you crazy! God bless you..Alison

Stward
Posts: 12
Joined: Sep 2010

Thank you all for the wonderful advice. I plan to follow up on this on Monday. I was told by the nurse in the office that even if she knew, she would not be able to share it with us. If we can't get any help from the office, and there are other doctors in the group, we do plan to go to the hospital and obtain the records. We have members of our family in the medical profession and a good friend who is a doctor so would not have any trouble understanding the records. That is a very good idea about the name of the pathologist and contacting them directly if they still don't have the report by Monday and can't or won't help us. This has been so stressful. It was like there is a tumor, do a biopsy, do surgery and that was it. I feel like we have been just left in the dark as far as what is going on and what is to be expected.

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

Usually, a doctor will request a colleague to handle his/her patients when on vacation, didn't your doctor leave someone to cover his patients for issues like yours?

Rick

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

Gosh you shouldn't have to wait....definitely call the doc office and demand someone with med experience cover your pathology report. Usually takes a week or so, but best to have someone explain vs. your getting copy from hospital or other facility.

I have my copy with me in files, and thankfully I had my doc explain, as it can be quite confusing.

Best to you~

Stward
Posts: 12
Joined: Sep 2010

We did receive a call from the doctor's office yesterday. We were told the cancer was confined to the kidney. That is all they would tell us, so we decided to wait until the office visit at the end of the month and get a copy of the report and ask him to go over the findings with us. At least we can rest easier knowing the margins were clear and it was confined to the kidney.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1611
Joined: Aug 2009

I am glad you got some news, but I think I would have a real blunt talk with the dr. Let him know how difficult it was to try to get information and be put off. You deserve better than that. Sometimes the drs just don't think about things from a patient's perspective. It might help him understand and do better next time. Even if it doesn't, you will gave a chance to vent. We had a dr leave a message on a Friday afternoon to call him. My husband had had a recent CT. The dr had never called us before so we knew that the cancer had probably come back. Of course, when we got the message it was too late to call leaving us with a weekend to worry. When we pointed that out to the dr, he was surprised by our reaction. He said he'd never thought of that and in the future if he couldn't reach people with bad news he'd just hang up and try later . What seems to us as common sense may not be for others. . Fay

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