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to want to meet the surgeon before agreeing to major surgery for my child

(19 Posts)
elliejjtiny Wed 29-Jul-15 11:20:59

DS4 (aged 2) has 6 consultants (ent, eyes, neuro, plastic surgeon, genetics and general paediatrician). Most of them we know. The paediatrician we know extremely well (first name terms, will chat to us if she sees us in the corridor, came to see me in HDU when I had ds5 etc). The neurosurgeon we have never met, just 2 of his registrars and an sho. It's looking more likely that DS4 will need major brain surgery at some point in the next couple of years. The general paed has been keeping him stable with minor procedures under ga in the hope that this will be enough but it's not looking great at the moment.

If he needs this operation I want to actually meet the neurosurgeon and discuss the pros and cons before agreeing to DS4 having the operation. DH thinks I'm being ridiculous and the quick "here's the consent form, any questions?" chat you get just before the operation is fine. Maybe I'm just being precious but all the elective surgery me or my children have had has been done by someone we know, not a stranger. This man has never met us or DS4.

Purplepoodle Wed 29-Jul-15 11:23:51

Surely if he needs the op then they will sit u down with neuro and pead to discuss the operation. I'd work about it nearer the time though

Purplepoodle Wed 29-Jul-15 11:24:14


PtolemysNeedle Wed 29-Jul-15 11:26:05

YANBU. I'm sorry your family is having to go through this, it must be awful for you all.

I don't think wanting to meet the surgeon is too much to ask, even if it is unneccesary. If it will help put your mind at rest a little, then you deserve it.

BarbarianMum Wed 29-Jul-15 11:28:07

YANBU we met the neurosurgical registrar and then the neurosurgeon himself before we even knew whether ds2 would need surgery (and it turned out he didn't). And this was at s children's hospital so we were one patient amongst many.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Wed 29-Jul-15 11:28:31

I absolutely know what you mean. I was expected to have surgery after only discussing it with a junior Dr. I got upset and rang the consultants secutary. She booked me in to meet the surgeon and both she and the consultant were lovely about it. Ring the secutary and say you would like a clinic appointment with the main Dr himself. Good luck.

Wolfiefan Wed 29-Jul-15 11:32:37

You can't just be expected to sign a consent form. You need to talk through the surgery and possible outcomes etc. I'm not sure if this needs to be with the actual surgeon. (Clearly preferable if it is!) The surgeon's ability to do the op won't be influenced by having met you or your DC but I can see it is reassuring to put a face to the name.

Jackie0 Wed 29-Jul-15 11:33:21

I've been able to make appointments with consultants through their secretaries without any problems.
Is there any reason it wouldn't be that simple?

Lurkedforever1 Wed 29-Jul-15 12:07:30

Yanbu. Dd had minor, v straightforward surgery after an injury and a&e visit. The consultant still came to talk to us and discuss it beforehand, as did the anaesthetist, before I was asked to sign consent form. The other consultant even came to introduce himself incase there was a last minute swop. ( wasn't a surgery requiring a specialist, anyone in that field was equally capable) So no doubt in my mind you should expect more, not less, for major nuero surgery.

MoonriseKingdom Wed 29-Jul-15 12:19:09

I am sure when it gets to the point of needing surgery you should be able to have a discussion with the neurosurgical consultant if you ask. Even if you have every intention of giving consent it is still important that you understand what is to be expected in the recovery period and any other questions you may have.

Surgeons have a reputation for being brusque but I have found that many paediatric surgeons working in large centres do take good communication seriously. Don't be worried about seeming 'difficult', it is a perfectly reasonable thing to want to do and I think most good surgeons would welcome a discussion.

limitedperiodonly Wed 29-Jul-15 12:24:24

YANBU or ridiculous. I'm sure it won't make any difference who does it, but this is important to you.

They'll understand if you ask.

Best wishes to you and DS.

twinkletoedelephant Wed 29-Jul-15 12:35:18

We met D's neuro surgeon twice before his surgery and had his phone number in case we had more questions ( we did we called he answered all of them)

We also met a few of 'his team'. He made us feel safe and I 100% trusted him.

Ds loved him because he could count in Thomas trains .... And took him to the store cuboard for squirters for his bath :+)

GloGirl Wed 29-Jul-15 12:43:54

During your next appointment with your paed (presuming his surgery isn't sooner) can you mention it to them? I'm certain they'll tell you it's routine for you to meet your surgeon before the op and if you would like to see them sooner they can arrange it.

Needaninsight Wed 29-Jul-15 12:45:41

Of course you should meet him.

I'm having bowel surgery later in the year. I've met my surgeon. I trust him. Nice bloke. If I had even the slightest doubt about his competence, I wouldn't be letting him operate on me!

elliejjtiny Wed 29-Jul-15 14:44:53

Thankyou. Glad I'm not being precious. We're seeing the general paed in 2 weeks so I'll talk to her about it, confident in the fact that it's a perfectly reasonable request smile

Aeroflotgirl Wed 29-Jul-15 14:47:20

Surely it's standard practice to have a consultation if 2 with the surgeon doing the procedure. flowers for you.

AboutTimeIChangedMyNameAgain Wed 29-Jul-15 14:56:03

Junior doctors can't consent, it has to be the person doing the surgery (which can be the reg). Yanbu though.

SnapesCapes Wed 29-Jul-15 14:57:03

Not BU at all to want to meet the surgeon and anaesthetist. DS1 has had several operations on his ears (he has hearing difficulties) and every single time we've sat down with his consultant and discussed each op in detail before agreeing to proceed. And post-op we've always seen his consultant, the surgeon and the anaesthetist.

You sound perfectly reasonable to request some of their time. flowers

elliejjtiny Wed 29-Jul-15 20:33:19

Thankyou. When DS4 has had his other ops (he's had several sad) we talk about it with whoever is doing the operation at one of his regular appointments beforehand. Then on the day there is a pattern of routine obs and the admission form with the nurse, the anaesthetist comes for a quick chat (Hi, I'm dr x, has he got a cold? how was his last anaesthetic? any questions? see you in theatre), the consultant comes and gives me the consent form and asks if we have any questions. Then she or he goes to scrub up and it's time to go. The in depth discussion is never on the day of the operation. I trust the general paed 100% with DS4 and I'm happy to discuss the pros and cons of major brain surgery versus less invasive medical management with her but I'm aware that she has never done this operation herself and I want to talk to the neurosurgeon before I make a decision. When I see him with a consent form 10 minutes before the operation is a bit late in the day for a proper conversation.

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