Surgeon better be worth it; his office staff is killing us

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SeattlePCa
SeattlePCa Member Posts: 4
edited March 2014 in Prostate Cancer #1
Scheduled for Da Vinci surgery in two weeks with one of the top surgeons in my area. He better be worth it because his office staff is making me sick. It's been one thing after another; botched appt times; inaccurate info; delayed responses. They seem to have forgotten how to be professional or compassionate. I know I'm pinning everything on the skill of the doc for that 3 hours or so of surgery, but these people have me scared s*less re follow-up care or lack thereof. I have to go thru them to get to him; and it's like a bad game of telephone. They screw up and then I have to unravel the mess. Has anyone ever switched practitioners after the surgery for "rehab"? Anyone have any tips for getting the staff to do a better job without ticking them off? Take my word for it; I'm a pretty laidback person so for me to b*tch, it's bad.

Comments

  • hopeful and optimistic
    hopeful and optimistic Member Posts: 2,342 Member
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    suggest you post the doc's name,
    ...so that others who have been there before you can give you input
  • ProfWagstaff
    ProfWagstaff Member Posts: 103 Member
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    As to your question about
    As to your question about changing practitioners after the surgery...my uro actually offered me the option. The guy who did my surgery is one of the top guys at a major teaching hospital in the east. Has over 1800 Davinci's under his belt (and one under my belt). His office, however, is 30 miles from my home. After the three month follow-up, (which was still clean) he said that if it was more convenient for me to go back to my local uro, he'd be okay with that. If I wanted to continue with him, he'd be glad to have me. I'm still with him. Now 18 months out and all still good. The only mis-cue I've ever experienced with his office is when I went in after surgery for catheter removal. receptionist absent-mindedly handed me a specimen cup. I asked her if she wanted me to just drain a little out of the catheter bag. She was very embarrassed and apologetic. She didn't realize that my appointment was a surgical follow-up. other than that, I've had no complaints.
  • mtguy
    mtguy Member Posts: 22
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    I know what you are going through
    So you are staying with Dr P? In my mind, he is the best but his office staff is the worst. I experienced all the same you have and more.

    1. Misplaced paperwork - I asked to have my records sent to my family Dr and Urologist. Gave them the addresses to send it to and was not given any release form to sign. On a follow-up appt. I asked again about sending the records. They looked puzzled and could not find the information I had left with them. They then gave me forms to fill out so I took them with me and bring back on the next visit.

    2. Wrong forms - the forms they gave me was to release information TO his office, not FROM his office to other doctors. And the phone number at the top was wrong as I tried to call it to get clarification on the forms.

    3. Gave me another patients information - when they handed me the forms, they also grabbed an extra sheet of paper that had patient information all over it. I found it when I got home going through the papers. When I got back to their office, I told her she gave me the wrong forms, phone number at the top is wrong, and they gave me other patient information. She looked mortified...as she should have been.

    Since I life out of the area, I will have my 3 month follow-up and then I am done with them. I will be back under the care of my regular urologist.

    Long story to your question but at this stage, I would stay with Dr P since you want the most important issue to be addressed by the best. But I would get another urologist for routine checkups and such. To get on the schedule of another surgeon is going to put you back another month or so. For me, that would have been disaster.

    Good luck
  • SeattlePCa
    SeattlePCa Member Posts: 4
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    mtguy said:

    I know what you are going through
    So you are staying with Dr P? In my mind, he is the best but his office staff is the worst. I experienced all the same you have and more.

    1. Misplaced paperwork - I asked to have my records sent to my family Dr and Urologist. Gave them the addresses to send it to and was not given any release form to sign. On a follow-up appt. I asked again about sending the records. They looked puzzled and could not find the information I had left with them. They then gave me forms to fill out so I took them with me and bring back on the next visit.

    2. Wrong forms - the forms they gave me was to release information TO his office, not FROM his office to other doctors. And the phone number at the top was wrong as I tried to call it to get clarification on the forms.

    3. Gave me another patients information - when they handed me the forms, they also grabbed an extra sheet of paper that had patient information all over it. I found it when I got home going through the papers. When I got back to their office, I told her she gave me the wrong forms, phone number at the top is wrong, and they gave me other patient information. She looked mortified...as she should have been.

    Since I life out of the area, I will have my 3 month follow-up and then I am done with them. I will be back under the care of my regular urologist.

    Long story to your question but at this stage, I would stay with Dr P since you want the most important issue to be addressed by the best. But I would get another urologist for routine checkups and such. To get on the schedule of another surgeon is going to put you back another month or so. For me, that would have been disaster.

    Good luck

    Thanks for the information
    MTGuy,
    Thanks for the war stories. I did decide to stick w/Porter, but am going to return to the urology office where I was first diagnosed as soon as practicable after surgery. (Surgery is tomorrow; I'm starting to feel sick at my stomach about it, but that's another story.) I won't tolerate the office's lack of professionalism and poor performance any longer than absolutely necessary. I wouldn't put up with it in any other aspect of my "consumer" life, and am appalled that people in their field are so sloppy and seemingly clueless to the ramifications of their behavior on patients who are in a vulnerable state. Contrast that with one of the doctors at my urologists' practice. I did not choose him as my surgeon (He wasn't my main uro), although he was in my top three. (Porter's personal experience as a PS patient plus his high numbers at the robot swayed me to him.) I had informed the other doc's office that I wasn't going to use him. About a week later, that doc called me to see how I was doing and to reassure me that I was in good hands with Porter. I thought that was quite decent of him. My wife and I had already been discussing the prospect of bailing from P's office, and that call kind of clinched the thought. Current uro's office is more convenient location, and hopefully the "rehab" program is more attentive than I think possible at this point from Porter.
    Thanks for taking the time to respond. PC has been part of my life for about three months now, although it seems like much longer. As an unwilling new member of the club, I have to say that the information from forum participants has made a huge difference in my education so far. Nothing like hearing from folks who've been there. I hope you're doing well in your recovery.
  • lewvino
    lewvino Member Posts: 1,010
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    Thanks for the information
    MTGuy,
    Thanks for the war stories. I did decide to stick w/Porter, but am going to return to the urology office where I was first diagnosed as soon as practicable after surgery. (Surgery is tomorrow; I'm starting to feel sick at my stomach about it, but that's another story.) I won't tolerate the office's lack of professionalism and poor performance any longer than absolutely necessary. I wouldn't put up with it in any other aspect of my "consumer" life, and am appalled that people in their field are so sloppy and seemingly clueless to the ramifications of their behavior on patients who are in a vulnerable state. Contrast that with one of the doctors at my urologists' practice. I did not choose him as my surgeon (He wasn't my main uro), although he was in my top three. (Porter's personal experience as a PS patient plus his high numbers at the robot swayed me to him.) I had informed the other doc's office that I wasn't going to use him. About a week later, that doc called me to see how I was doing and to reassure me that I was in good hands with Porter. I thought that was quite decent of him. My wife and I had already been discussing the prospect of bailing from P's office, and that call kind of clinched the thought. Current uro's office is more convenient location, and hopefully the "rehab" program is more attentive than I think possible at this point from Porter.
    Thanks for taking the time to respond. PC has been part of my life for about three months now, although it seems like much longer. As an unwilling new member of the club, I have to say that the information from forum participants has made a huge difference in my education so far. Nothing like hearing from folks who've been there. I hope you're doing well in your recovery.

    Keep us updated on your
    Keep us updated on your surgery. Just thing in another day you will be a member of the Cancer Survivors club!!!

    Larry
  • mtguy
    mtguy Member Posts: 22
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    Thanks for the information
    MTGuy,
    Thanks for the war stories. I did decide to stick w/Porter, but am going to return to the urology office where I was first diagnosed as soon as practicable after surgery. (Surgery is tomorrow; I'm starting to feel sick at my stomach about it, but that's another story.) I won't tolerate the office's lack of professionalism and poor performance any longer than absolutely necessary. I wouldn't put up with it in any other aspect of my "consumer" life, and am appalled that people in their field are so sloppy and seemingly clueless to the ramifications of their behavior on patients who are in a vulnerable state. Contrast that with one of the doctors at my urologists' practice. I did not choose him as my surgeon (He wasn't my main uro), although he was in my top three. (Porter's personal experience as a PS patient plus his high numbers at the robot swayed me to him.) I had informed the other doc's office that I wasn't going to use him. About a week later, that doc called me to see how I was doing and to reassure me that I was in good hands with Porter. I thought that was quite decent of him. My wife and I had already been discussing the prospect of bailing from P's office, and that call kind of clinched the thought. Current uro's office is more convenient location, and hopefully the "rehab" program is more attentive than I think possible at this point from Porter.
    Thanks for taking the time to respond. PC has been part of my life for about three months now, although it seems like much longer. As an unwilling new member of the club, I have to say that the information from forum participants has made a huge difference in my education so far. Nothing like hearing from folks who've been there. I hope you're doing well in your recovery.

    Wishing you success tomorrow
    By now you are starting your home prep for your surgery (assuming you have it early in the morning). Going in for major surgery is never something to look forward to but don't let it scare you either. If I had only the initial surgery, I am sure I would have been doing much better in a very short time. Most guys seems to come out doing very well within the first day or so.

    Some last minute comments:
    1. Don't be afraid to ask for the pain meds. Guys typically give a lower number than what the real pain is. I know I did.
    2. Get up and walk around as soon as you can and as much as you can. Get the gas moving and out of your system - the sooner the better.
    3. Don't be afraid of the catheter. While is seems (and is) very un-natural, keep it clean around the head of the penis or you will have isses.

    I will be pulling for you tomorrow and know you will come thru this well. A week from now, everything will be much different.
  • mtguy
    mtguy Member Posts: 22
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    Welcome to the other side
    Well, by now you have had your surgery and with any luck, are up and walking about and perhaps giving the nurses at Swedish Medical a little hell. I stayed on the 11th floor and got to know quite a few of them during my 12 days. Best one was Saldi - he stayed with me for severals days and was excellent.

    Keep walking around, move and pass that gas, and don't let the catheter get to you. It will be out soon enough. I always viewed each hour as a step closer to recovery and the catheter getting out. I had 3 tubes in me because of complications but each time a tube came out I called it as a major step forward.

    Let us know how you did.
    Take care!