INVESTIGATE, INVESTIGATE, INVESTIGATE your surgeon and their office practices and their personnel.
Back in November 2012, my excellent Patient First PCP, stated in his notes that I appear to have neuropathies related to malnutrition after bariatric surgery. Here’s more medical research) on neuropathies after bariatric surgery. The neurologist diagnosed neuropathies that match the common issues from malnutrition after bariatric surgery. I did see my bariatric surgeon on Jan. 4, 2013, but they didn’t even put it in the notes. I will add my former plastic surgeon’s notes, but they also had comments about my nutrition. You will see in those notes I was sent back to the surgeon (same as with the PCP) but not only did the bariatric surgeon not catch the neuropathies issue, they didn’t follow up or seem it was a problem with the other issues. I was diagnosed by the bariatric surgeon with malnutrition in June 2012, so they should have recognized it. The way to fix the issue is with a PICC line and TPN, but critical care is in the hands of surgeons, regular doctors aren’t familiar with it, know how to manage it, nor can they admit someone to the hospital for it.
My phone records show that I called the my bariatric surgeons’ groups’ published-on-the-internet complaint “hotline” on a HIPAA violation (privacy violation), clarification in inconsistent/unclear treatment directions, and another issue, on “4/17/2013, 09:49 AM To 757-XXX-XXXX Connected”. The flyer w/the hotline number said “File a grievance. Please contact” … “and a written response will be forwarded to you within 7 days of receipt.” No written response was ever received, except 2 days after the phone call I was dismissed from the practice I complained about. They were investigating at the time of the dismissal letter, and also got back to me on: 4/26/13, 4/30/13, 5/2/13, 5/3/13, also 5/29/13 and 5/30/13.
Note retaliation for filing a complaint is against the law: http://www.hipaasurvivalguide.com/hipaa-regulations/160-316.php, http://privacy.med.miami.edu/glossary/xd_intimidatiion_retaliation.htm, http://www.wikihow.com/Report-HIPAA-Violations.
If you are in the Hampton Roads area, there are 3 main groups for bariatric surgery. If you call and ask, they will tell you that once you are under one plan (have been operated on) you can’t get to another plans’ doctors. This is by legal agreement/non compete agreement and because of one doctor knowing another and refusing you service since they’re buddies. So if you are dropped, for any legal or legitimate reason or not, you lose all care in the area. More on whether or not you need care later.
Let me also note that one of my suggestions to the group was to hire another doctor. They did, and now that doctor is backed up with appointments for several months. So the group GAINED by my suggestion and dropped me for making it. Care that I will need to not get permanent damage from neuropathies, metabolic alkalosis, and other issues. All when I had been compliant by the doctors’ notes for MONTHS before they stated I was dropped for noncompliance (that story changed about why I was dismissed) and what they alluded to was a decision the doctor couldn’t support w/medical evidence about TEN MONTHS PRIOR.
The onus is on us because “follow the money” and you may find that it isn’t your health which is top priority.
Let me make this clear: I make no money off of this. This is my time and energy to educate. A surgeon, or people in their office, is going to want to get you in to sell you their services. If they are a Center of Excellence, they need to do X number of surgeries. They make their $$$ by selling you surgery. Anything else is just peanuts, but they’ll use that to help keep you selling their product as a satisfied customer.
“Complacency and blind trust are the greatest barriers. The complacency is embodied in the traditions of medicine. Medicine has its own culture, values, vocabulary and justice system. Part of that culture is that we only listen to ourselves.”
“And the blind trust is the blind trust of the public. It’s not their fault. They have no choice but to walk into an emergency room and get treated by the first doctor on call. But the treatment is too often based on that individual’s practice rather than what’s the best evidence.”