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To wonder if surgeons discuss patients? Any medical people out there?

(45 Posts)
Userlavender Sat 07-Oct-17 19:02:55

My sister recently had 2 surgeries done privately (cosmetic but reconstructive) and could have chose 1 surgeon to do them both but chose 2 different ones. Each one wanted to know - insisted actually - who was / is doing her other surgery. So these surgeons attend the same conferences / professional networks etc and now she is nervous about a follow up next week because she thinks they will have discussed her case amongst themselves. Do surgeons do this? I think yes they probably do but have told her they don't!

Pengggwn Sat 07-Oct-17 19:04:37

I don't see why they wouldn't, if it was necessary for one or the other to know something. I don't see why they would if it wasn't.

Ameliablue Sat 07-Oct-17 19:08:30

If they have it would only be on a professional basis in sure we.g. if they wanted to clarify anything in the medical notes.

Userlavender Sat 07-Oct-17 19:09:20

@peng yes i suppose. I think it might be more 'oh i had one of your patients x recently did you know she also had so and so done?' Im not sure - she is mortified. She thinks they will be discussing her in a negative light. I don't know why she bothered to tell them when they asked - she wasn't officially required to.

Wall0ps Sat 07-Oct-17 19:13:01

I really don't think they'd bother. It was probably more out of curiosity to see who had done the surgery, as they will know each other if in the same field. I'm sure they would have no interest in discussing it unless clinically indicated. Patients really aren't that interesting generally, sorry if that sounds harsh but hasn't your hairdresser ever asked you where you had your haircut last time?
DOI doctor but not surgeon.

NeverForgotten Sat 07-Oct-17 19:14:56

It is unlikely they would discuss patient details in general. One would imagine the only discussion they could possibly have would be in relation to possible complications in the overlap of procedures notspecific patients. There is strict ethical and professional conduct rules to be adhered to and people in such a profession and the medical council take any breaches very seriously. Surgeons train for several long gruelling years. They will not risk their career by being indiscreet or unprofessional.

trinity0097 Sat 07-Oct-17 19:15:09

When I was in A&E for about the 11millionth time with my gallbladder issues earlier in the year I saw someone from the surgical team who I'd not seen before but he knew my case as I had been discussed among the team apparently!

LJLsmum Sat 07-Oct-17 19:16:26

I work with surgeons and they won't discuss past surgeries unless they are somehow linked or one surgeon is possibly asking about techniques used. They would only really discuss for reasons of outcome and whether a certain technique used by one surgeon is giving better outcomes than other ways. They wouldn't gossip if that's what she's worried about. They have time for learning and passing on skills but not for gossip.

Potofbobbles Sat 07-Oct-17 19:16:29

My Mum never discussed actual cases unless necessary.

If a patient was abusive or violent or had been a total nightmare it might be mentioned to relevant staff who had to have dealings with them.

If it was relevant to case notes or further surgeries possibly.

Not just to gossip no.

She did mention cases at home but only if she had been upset by them, in a I've had this horrid case, women committed suicide terrible injuries kind of way. Definitely no details.

Userlavender Sat 07-Oct-17 19:17:05

@wallops i think what started this was a friend telling her recently about a nose issue. She had her sinus surgery with a surgeon who has his private practice on harley street (original surgery nhs) and the result was so bad she was hysterical and had a revision with different guy 3 doors down on harley street then saw a photo on twitter of the two of them having lunch together at a conference the next day and said she felt her the hysterical patient would be topic of conversation! They both also wanted to know info. I think following medical stuff on social media makes patients more nervous not sure!

Userlavender Sat 07-Oct-17 19:18:42

@trinity yep this is what my sister thinks. Interesting to hear other people who say different - i'm not sure what i think

Handypandy23 Sat 07-Oct-17 19:20:20

Honestly, I doubt it. In the nicest way possible she's unlikely to be very interesting to them. And in the circumstances you have given I think it would have been pretty darn awkward for both of them, can't imagine they'd have been gossiping about her.

NeverForgotten Sat 07-Oct-17 19:21:31

Forgot to mention - Surgeons can gain a particular professional reputation for their work and outcomes. The surgeon may have been interested by the particular cut/stitch/approach to the previous work and give them an indication of how successful it is likely to be. They could also be checking in case she got the procedure done abroad, cosmetic surgery tourism is very common nowadays.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sat 07-Oct-17 19:22:31

I’ve had a few very... stand out? Unique?... surgeries; and so I know I’ve been discussed a bit - but it was talked about, I signed to say I didn’t mind and I had the opportunity for it to be talked about anonymously.

I don’t think she needs to worry. Even when I know surgeons have discussed things that I’ve had done - and medically I seem to be a fascinating case - it’s never been referenced or awkward.

Hulder Sat 07-Oct-17 19:24:22

Would really depend how interesting she is (clinically), how busy they are, how much they like/dislike each other, if they really needed to know clinical details or not, if they shared an office - so a host of variables really.

So I could see someone at a conference who saw one of my patients but if the patient wasn't that complex, or we were going to different sessions I wouldn't bother. If we were sat next to each other, we might well chat about our shared patient with the nightmare relatives though. Or the knotty clinical problem we can't fix.

If your sister is a perfectly normal woman, which I'm sure she is, the surgeons probably have better things to do than talk about a standard patient making choices she is entitled to.

confusedlittleone Sat 07-Oct-17 19:24:41

@trinity0097 it's common for departments to discuss patients within each other (asking second opinions, doing handovers)

tippz Sat 07-Oct-17 19:24:53

No. Certainly not by name.

They would of course discuss aspects of their work, but not peoples names and specifics no.

tippz Sat 07-Oct-17 19:25:30

Not out of the 'workplace' anyway!

confusedlittleone Sat 07-Oct-17 19:25:40

But there's a difference between surgeons in a hospital departing discussing patients and private surgeons

Pixey53 Sat 07-Oct-17 19:28:44

Surgical teams/consultants and gp's as such would talk to members of their team to get feedback/advice on anything that could be tired or along those lines

Lucked Sat 07-Oct-17 19:30:10

Honestly only if one surgery could impact the other otherwise it is just work. Regardless of how personal and important it is to the patient unless it is something as rare as hens teeth they won't think about at home and they probably discuss spouses, children and colleagues when they meet at conferences.

mumof06darlings Sat 07-Oct-17 19:30:46

Would they not be classed the same as doctors and be bound to confidentiality?

Roomster101 Sat 07-Oct-17 19:34:24

They might talk about her treatment if they were part of the same surgical team but not just because they were at the same conference and felt like gossiping.

PurplePillowCase Sat 07-Oct-17 19:35:57

never by name
but during conferences certain cases might be discussed. often permission is asked beforehand.

SusanTheGentle Sat 07-Oct-17 19:36:22

I have several doctor friends and I know they talk to each other about named patients in a strictly work relevant way - e.g. 'This lady has had X surgery before, if you look at her notes you'll see ABC important things to note', but they're all impeccable about patient privacy - if you ask how their day went they may say 'had a really tricky time with a patient this morning but we worked it out' or even process something like 'I was upset that we couldn't do more' but they'd never give even the tiniest hint of who that person was, and discuss in only very vague and unidentifiable terms. In fact I know I've been treated be people that at least one of them knows, but they had no idea until I mentioned it myself much later.

My friends are all NHS but I can't see that it would be different in private practice; if anything, their reputations are even more important there.

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