Patient’s Experience and How A Second Opinion Was Valuable
What Exactly Is Happening?
Susan started experiencing continued abdominal pain. She sought local treatment and was diagnosed with irritate bowel syndrome (IBS). They put her on a gluten-free, dairy-free and starch carb-free diet. Her pain did not improve, it actually got worse. All the while, her GI doctor was still diagnosing her with IBS.
A couple of years later, she arrived at the ER in severe pain. Susan was told she had sigmoid volvulus and emergency surgery was performed the next morning. She did well for 6 months until one evening, the excruciating pain returned. Another trip to the ER was made and another obstruction was found. She was put on a Nasogastric (NG) tube and off work for 1 week. 2 weeks later she was in pain and made a trip back to the ER where they put her on a NG tube again.
Finally, the head of the GI department at the hospital told her that they would need to remove her colon. Removing your colon is no simple surgery. It comes with high risks for complications, not to mention life long changes that might require a permanent colostomy bag.
Yet, the next day she was released from the hospital. No explanation was given as to why she was told she needed surgery the day before to her release to go home.
Decision to Get A Second Opinion
After her discharge, Susan decided it was time to get a second opinion. She was referred to a facility in Boston that offers excellent care and is patient centered. After the first visit the GI doctor and Colorectal Surgeon suspected she might have an outlet obstruction. They recommended she see the pelvic floor clinic at another medical hospital nearby. The hospital did a diagnostic study, defogram, that is not done locally in Halifax. Based on the results of this study, a true diagnosis was finally given – Idiopathic GI Dysmotility.
The proposed treatment for this is physiotherapy for the pelvic floor, biofeedback and massage for the colon. Surgery for this condition is the absolute last option.
Susan returned home, began this treatment and as of today, is doing well. She takes no medication and most importantly, she has her colon.
‘The difference between the local doctors and the facility I visited in Boston is that the doctors in Boston worked as a team. They reviewed her records prior to her appointment so that both of their time was put to good use. Doctors locally do not communicate as a team and they want you in and out ASAP. I was a very compliant patient and this was my frustration. How can I do everything they are saying and more and be no further ahead. It didn’t make sense to me. As far as a real diagnosis here (in Halifax) they really never came up with one. It may be “scar tissue” was all they could come up with.’
Consider a Second Opinion
Health Vantis works with several reputable facilities that can provide second opinions to you. If you have something undiagnosed, recently diagnosed or are scheduled for a serious surgery, consider getting another opinion. It may prevent something unnecessary or even just give you the peace of mind that what has been recommended is appropriate. We are happy to help make the arrangements!
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