• Is my doctor slacking?

    Asked by BrickHouse on Wednesday, October 24, 2012

    Is my doctor slacking?

    I was diagnosed with IDC three weeks ago after removal of a painful lump which didn't appear on a diagnostic mammo nor an ultrasound. The surgery was performed by a general surgeon who thought it was a ductal abnormality. After meeting with a wonderful plastic surgeon last week, I have decided I will have bilateral mastectomies with immediate reconstruction. The plastic surgeon told me he would coordinate a date with my surgeon. That was a week ago. Today I received a message from my general surgeon who said that he had a message from the plastic surgeon, and asked me to call him to refresh him on what what we are doing for surgery. I left a message for him two hours ago and still have not heard back. The plastic surgeon said things seem to move fast for a breast cancer patient. My surgeon doesn't seem to be moving so fast. Is this just my anxiety over wanting to get this cancer out of me?

    13 Answers from the Community

    13 answers
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar
      BuckeyeShelby

      It seemed to take forever for me as well. My endometrial cancer was discovered during an operation to repair an umbilical hernia in July. Didn't see the surgical oncologist until the first week in Aug. They wanted me to heal before operating again, so the hysterectomy wasn't until the end of Aug. Then again, they wanted me to heal before I started chemo almost a month later. It was hard. I just wanted the whole thing to be over. Still do. I'm on 2nd of 6 cycles on the chemo. Doesn't mean it's not a problem; just what I've seen on my journey. Hang in there. And don't be afraid to call and ask questions. I've spoken to just about every nurse in both my surgical & medical oncologists' offices. Bugged my PCP. Bugged my optometrist. Yes, I bugged my optometrist... On his cell phone! He should never have given me that number...

      over 4 years ago
    • Harry's Avatar
      Harry

      If we're talking hours here then I would give it a little more time. He could actually be in surgery. He might not be "slacking." On the other hand, why doesn't he have notes of the previous surgery to consult rather than relying on you to refresh him?

      over 4 years ago
    • BrickHouse's Avatar
      BrickHouse

      I know the PS called the general surgeon's office last Friday. And I know his surgeries are done on Tuesdays. Yes, I'm sure an emergency could have come up. He seemed to want to decide on my procedure for me, and I insisted on what I was comfortable with. This is likely why he doesn't remember what I'm going to do. And returning the PS' call would refresh him, too, wouldn't it?! I just want to put this behind me. Thanks Shelby and Harry!

      over 4 years ago
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar
      ticklingcancer

      Remember....these Doctors work for YOU not the other way around. If you're not comfortable with how this Dr is treating you....fire his XXX and get another Dr. Good Luck To You!! Keep us posted on your progress!!

      over 4 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar
      SueRae1

      Sounds as if you surgeon dropped the ball. I also think you should be working with a Breast Surgeon and oncologist, they have the expertise to understand what is happening and give you advice and options on surgery and treatment. If you are willing to come down to NYC I highly recommend my breast cancer team (and the whole department) at Columbia Presbyterian hospital (168th Street in upper Manhattan), about 2.5-3 hour drive away.

      over 4 years ago
    • BrickHouse's Avatar
      BrickHouse

      Well, I did get my phone call after all, once his appointments ended. He wanted to confirm my choices (which he had in front of him), and let me know that he and the plastic surgeon can coordinate for November 6. So that's my day. My "Bye Bye Bad Boobies Day!" I do feel like I over reacted, especially after talking to him. But this isn't me at my most rational. Thanks to all who responded.

      over 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      I'm a bit confused. You said you had the lump removed? Assuming your biopsy showed clean margins, you got "this cancer out of you". You don't say why you have decided to have a bilateral mastectomy. If it is because you have a hereditary propensity or because you want to less then chance of a recurrence, then this is basically elective surgery.Secondly, breast reconstruction is pretty complicated and requires a lot of planning, measuring, etc. Is your general surgeon also planning additional surgery? If not, I dont' understand why the plastic surgeon is coordinating a date with him. For a surgeon not to return a phone call within 2 hours is hardly slacking. He is a surgeon after all and may have spent the whole day in surgery.

      over 4 years ago
    • BrickHouse's Avatar
      BrickHouse

      No, my margins were by no means clear. And I have decided not to live in fear of bi-annual screenings. That's not the issue. I am having immediate reconstruction, hence the schedule coordination. General surgeon doing the mastectomies and SNB; plastics doing the reconstruction.

      over 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      Ah, ok, I didn't understand that from your previous posts. Sounds as though you have gotten the scheduling issues resolved.

      I had a similar situation except that my plastic surgery was not for reconstruction but because my mastectomy wound on the malignant side was too large to close without a flap being taken from my abdomen to cover it that required a plastic surgeon.

      The only other thing I would add is that you will still need to be monitored for recurrence and most likely that will be more frequent than the bi-annual mammograms you were getting pre-cancer.

      over 4 years ago
    • ElsaG's Avatar
      ElsaG

      My concern would be why a general surgeon and not a doctor that specializes in breasts, breast cancer and surgery. I realize you've made your decision but I think it's important to consult/work with a specialist.

      over 4 years ago
    • bethmac3s' Avatar
      bethmac3s

      My only concern is that you are seeing a general surgeon. My belief is you should reconsider & see a BREAST surgeon!

      over 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      She is seeing a breast surgeon, 2 actually. A plastic surgeon who does breast reconstruction is commonly called a breast surgeon. Plastic surgeons don't do mastectomies or most other "ectomies", they do transplants, augmentations, inserts, etc. that require re-connection of .blood vessels, tissue, muscles, etc. A general surgeon who does mastectomies is also a breast surgeon, even though he may do other types of surgeries as well. And just to make it even more confusing, there is an American Society of Breast Surgeons that also certifies general surgeons as breast surgeons that meet certain criteria involving the use of sonograms and stereostatic biopsies. For the most part, a surgeon who labels himself as a breast surgeon primarily does so for marketing purposes. For a patient who needs their gall bladder removed, the same surgeon would market himself as a gall bladder surgeon.

      over 4 years ago
    • BrickHouse's Avatar
      BrickHouse

      Yes, I am comfortable with my very capable surgeon as well as my esteemed plastic surgeon. I will see a very well-established oncologist tomorrow just to make sure all my ducks are in a row and then consult with my nurse case manager. My plastic surgeon specializes in reconstruction and his website shows some amazing work.

      Thanks for all the support and first hand info!

      over 4 years ago

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