One of the reasons to get a copy of your records is potential problems. You do have the RIGHT (HIPAA rules) to get a copy of your records and review them for completeness and correctness. You can also add to those records BY LAW. I found a lot of differences between what was recorded and what I had. This can DRASTICALLY affect your care later on. Here is an example:
What was said: “The patient then crashed his car into a cement pole”. What was transcribed: “The patient then crashed his car into a semen pool”.
I’m working on getting my medical records scanned in and then showing people, hopefully they will see this and learn from these experiences. These are only the tip of the iceberg.
At my one year appointment, its interesting that I was labeled compliant in vitamins and exercise and that the next appointment, rather than being 6 months as normal, was 3 months. Also note that it says for problems, which the urgent care PCP wanted me to be seen on but were not noted here.
Neurological complications can happen after surgery. My PCP recognized mine in November 2012. The plastic surgeon I saw in Jan. 2013 did. The bariatric surgeon only had a problem with me coming to them for “PCP” type things. The problem is that my other doctors recognized signs of nutritional issues: dizziness, weakness, hypoglycemic symptoms, tiredness, lowered body temperature, the blood pressure staying low, etc. It is even in my urgent care PCP’s records that I was to work with the bariatric surgeon.
Note that the internist the bariatric surgeon worked with didn’t recognize them either. I’ve copied my records below and will add the screenshots of them.
November 21, 2012: Urgent Care PCP states in record, “suggested trying some vegetarian refried beans to see if that would help provide her some of the protein that I think she needs. Complains of this persistent neuropathy to the legs. Review of some of the literature shows that neuropathy brought about my malnutrition like this can respond over time and essentially it responds when nutrition status improves. Told to try to improve the nutritional status and continue to work with surgeon”
Jan. 4th, 2013: Saw bariatric surgeon. Bariatric surgeon was told I would seek plastic surgery, and stated, “Please be careful.” Discussed protein loading for 2 to 3 weeks before plastic surgery. Bloodwork performed, which surgeon states all is fine. Appointment made with them for April 10th, 2013.
Jan. 2013: Saw plastic surgeon who is the FIRST recommendation from this bariatric surgeon’s office. Discussion ensues about a surgery date. We did discuss nutritional issues.
Feb. 8, 2013: I am informed that due to nutritional issues, the plastic surgeons office will not consider me for surgery in late April/early May 2013. I am told to go back to the bariatric surgeon. I went back to the bariatric surgeons’ office, and they didn’t see the need for another appointment, nor for bloodwork at any time.
The end of this is that I was dismissed from the plastic surgeons’ office (and lost my out of pocket payment) because I didn’t trust the plastic surgeon enough to go back to the bariatric surgeon and get bloodwork done. I asked a lot of questions and apparently didn’t trust the plastic surgeons’ judgement.
(((Hmmmm I have a PCP telling me one thing, a plastics guy telling me one time I’m ok and one time I’m not, the bariatric surgeon saying everything is fine, and the medical research saying I’ve got a problem. None of the offices are talking to the other offices.)))
Surgeon’s office is notified. They diagnosed me with malnutrition less than one year earlier, but with TWO doctors of various specialties who said I had nutritional problems, they never did any other bloodwork after Jan. 2013. At this time I am being followed by a different internist, different FP, neurologist, hematologist, ALL indicating a nutritional issue that has grown worse.
Do you want a bariatric surgeon who knows what problems come up in the medical research/literature, ones that might be permanent? If so, consider asking them their exposure to research, what medical basis they use for decision making, and specific numbers/types of patients they’ve had with issue X, and how far out are they following them.
I know that of the 3 worst outcome patients, my bariatric surgeon might be following one. I can confirm that the 2nd person and myself are no longer with this surgeon.