Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Surgeon Consult - #2

Today, we met with our second surgeon. He was recommended by a friend and was noted as one of the best at laparoscopic surgery. We ended up having to wait an extremely long time in the waiting room, almost to the point of walking out. We finally got in and first consulted with his head fellow, which made us a little shaky. We finally met the surgeon, who was very on point and had an odd sense of humor, which obviously put me at ease.

We discussed the options, and talked about the procedure. He also did a suprise flex sigmoidoscopy (which I didn't prepare for) so he could check out how the rectum looked. After a little cleanup, we gathered again and he gave us his final thoughts, which was that I'd be a good candidate for the JPouch. I was obviously healthier than many persons he sees and felt with my condition and general health, I should tolerate the surgery quite well. [In retrospect, we were both horribly wrong on this account.]

He was very open with questions and even chuckled at some of my few direct ones. Maybe he doesn't get people with my attitude all the time and maybe he looked at it like a challenge... Who doesn't like one every now and again. He is typically booked 6 weeks out for surgery, so we picked a date, just to reserve, should we want to use him. The staff was nice as well. All said and done, it was a three hour appointment.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Surgeon Consult - #1

Prior to today's consultation, my wife and I made a checklist of items we wanted to ask the surgeons. I'll be honest: I tried to find questions that were straight up direct. If you don't have a problem answering the hard questions, then you get to cut me up. Ideally, we were trying to find a surgeon that did the surgery at least partially laparoscopically, as I wasn't looking to have a zipper up my front side like the old-school surgeries (or emergency surgeries). I'm not so concerned about the scars (they always have interesting stories), but the recovery is supposedly less.

We met our first surgeon, fairly young, but quite congenial and seemed to have a good bedside manor. We liked the facilities, but was concerned that the surgeon did a hand-assisted pouch stitching. Not that it's inferior (some people think it's the best), but again, I didn't want a large zipper opening. He hadn't done many of these procedures, but it was his specialty, so that was comforting.

Based on my results, age, length of disease, etc., he felt that the jpouch was the best solution and I would be a good candidate based on my health and sphincter control. [I never thought I would ever be proud of "sphincter control", but I'll add that list of my "things I got going for me."] His nurse practitioner was wonderful to deal with and was a real joy to work with.

My wife and I left the office and traveled back home, thinking, okay, he seemed to be okay, but we couldn't sell ourselves on it. We had two others so we left our options open until we conducted the other consultations.