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For thinking this surgeon was a bit out of order? OK, I know I'm overweight but...

(157 Posts)
trickynicky Wed 26-Sep-12 08:59:16

Not sure if I'm being oversensitive here but I was in hospital over the weekend passing a gallbladder - terrible pain. On the ward round on the following morning, Mr Bigshot, the Consultant Surgeon came round with his minions (4/5 student doctors). He examined my stomach, prodded and poked and then stated I needed to have the gallbladder removed. He then looked at my table upon which was half a piece of toast I'd eaten for breakfast and an open mini packet of butter half opened. He then ceremoniously picked up the butter and said "well, you don't want to be eating that if you have gallbladder issues - it's fat" and then he pinched a piec of my stomach and said "you've got enough here"!! I was somewhat taken aback and just mumbled "I know".... he then obviousy thought better of what he said and said "I didn't mean to insult you"........smiled, and then wondered off.....

On reflection, I am mortified. Actually, he's totally right. I am quite a bit overweight - I do KNOW that.... but wasn't this just a little bit insensitive, unprofessional etc etc or am I being over dramatic?

TeeBee Wed 26-Sep-12 09:02:51

Yes, he was insensitive and unprofession and not very kind. Probably right but unkind nonetheless.

Theas18 Wed 26-Sep-12 09:03:39

He's being a surgeon. They aren't rated for tact I'm afraid , though I understand they are trying to learn the skill as the years go by...

He could have said it in a nicer way but shock tactics are sometimes needed, and you know you are carrying extra weight- I'm a fat bird too..but as of yet haven't found the " kick" to trigger you into healthy eating for life, so maybe his socially inept surgeons comment could be the one?

MousyMouse Wed 26-Sep-12 09:04:38

yes he was insensitive BUT he is right. you will feel much better changing your diet.

He was out of order for the fact that I highly doubt there was anything else on offer in hospital than toast and butter.

Well yes, a bit insensitive but totally right. When my late MIL had problems and had to have her gallbladder out years ago the doctors said she was a prime case - fertile, fat and over forty!!

OrangeHorraceTheGoldenOtter Wed 26-Sep-12 09:09:23

Yes, it was insensitive and unprofessional, especially in front of the student doctors. It was also right however and you're still thinking about it, so it clearly was a lasting message! My mum had her gallbladder removed and had to have a completely fat free diet for months after while her body got used to no gallbladder. It was a shock to her what she couldn't eat and I bet she'd have preferred to have got used to eating less fats before hand. Good luck with the gallbladder! Awfully painful things! thanks

CaptainHetty Wed 26-Sep-12 09:14:23

He certainly could have been more tactful, that's for sure, he obviously has an odd sense of humour. I'm sure he genuinely didn't mean to insult you, though it is somewhat humiliating for him to have said it in front of the student doctors.

Good luck with the gallbladder - my mum had hers removed a while back and she felt amazingly better for it x

TroublesomeEx Wed 26-Sep-12 09:20:45

He could have been a bit more sensitive/tactful but he's right and it's not his job to sugar coat anything. It's his job to present and deal with the facts.

He wasn't making a judgement on your attractiveness or your worth as a person he was just making a biological connection.

His students are there to learn.

But not very nice to hear, I agree.

I think most people who have seen a consultant (in a health capacity) come away feeling like they weren't treated as a 'person' and just a 'case'.

DesperatelySeekingPomBears Wed 26-Sep-12 09:21:13

YANBU OP and who gives a fuck if he was right? If I said to a black person "hey, you're black, your ancestors were probably slaves, right?" Would that be okay just because its truthful?

Just because someone says something that is technically correct that does not mean its okay to see it. Would you encourage your DCs to use such an unpleasant brand of honesty?

slartybartfast Wed 26-Sep-12 09:21:54

they have cereal though dont they?

slartybartfast Wed 26-Sep-12 09:22:22

and butter is fat and perhaps you gall bladder wont react well to it?

honeytea Wed 26-Sep-12 09:24:43

You should have said "I am aware it is best to avoid fat but unfortunatly there was no fat free breakfast on offer so I had to make do with butter and toast, could you ask the people incahrge of food to offer food suitable to people on special diets?"

honeytea Wed 26-Sep-12 09:24:44

You should have said "I am aware it is best to avoid fat but unfortunatly there was no fat free breakfast on offer so I had to make do with butter and toast, could you ask the people incahrge of food to offer food suitable to people on special diets?"

margerykemp Wed 26-Sep-12 09:24:50

You shouls complain. What an awful, unprofessional attitude!

FelicitywasSarca Wed 26-Sep-12 09:25:35

Yanbu OP.

Surgeon could have said, 'OP I would advise against eating the butter while you have gallstones. If I was you I would be researching a low fat diet to minimise pain and kick start a healthy lifestyle'

If they had the resources they could have also referred you to a medical professional who give dietary advice, but they probably don't.

DelhiCalling Wed 26-Sep-12 09:25:57

Yabu, he probably deals with health issues caused by obesity every day, it must be vert frustrating to him. He could have explained nutrition to you etc though so you would have a help in understanding how to improve your condition. Hope you feel better soon.

soverylucky Wed 26-Sep-12 09:26:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MainlyMaynie Wed 26-Sep-12 09:26:19

Making the point about the butter was entirely reasonable. Pinching your stomach utterly unreasonable, unprofessional and rude.

Pancakeflipper Wed 26-Sep-12 09:26:52

He was tactless. Push that to oneside and concentrate on you.

But amazed the hospital haven't got you on a fat free diet and not already told you to not have fats. Not because of a weight issue but because Unhappy gallbladders get worse with fat.

snowmummy Wed 26-Sep-12 09:26:55

He may have been right but that isn't the point. He was totally unprofessional, insensitive and arrogant. YANBU. Call PALS at the hospital and discuss with them.

Molehillmountain Wed 26-Sep-12 09:27:14

There is a reason why some surgeons do most of their work on unconscious patients wink. Although I have to say the surgeons I have dealt with have been very charming (and made me feel better just looking at them!)

comedycentral Wed 26-Sep-12 09:27:20

Complain! He may have been right but he had no right to mock you. You must have felt vulnerable rnough as it is.

lisad123 Wed 26-Sep-12 09:27:30

First thing I was told when I had gall stones was no fat, not a drop. I lived on potatoes, chicken and rice for ages, but tbh I didn't feel like eating sad
I lost 2 stones in two weeks

slartybartfast Wed 26-Sep-12 09:27:32

but he said he didnt mean to be rude.

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