Urgent advice needed please- upset!!!

Hi all,
Would really appreciate your advice. I had my second (elective) mastectomy and expander reconstruction last tuesday-the 1st mastectomy was last July and also went well.
I was discharged from hospital on tuesday and had appointment today. Unfortunately I saw the registrar instead of the surgeon who I do find very difficult to understand as he has a heavy accent.
I walked in and when he asked me how everything was, I told him everything was fine .
I told him that, like last year, I had a seroma on my back which was not uncomfortable and not causing me any problems what so ever. He asked me to lie on the bed (I assumed to examine my reconstructed boob and my mastectomy) and before I knew it, he had gloves on and was preparing to aspirate it. I was shocked wheen I realised this as I am happy to let my body get rid of it on its own (as it did last year)- plus, he never even told me this is what he was gonna do.
I told him I didnt want it aspirated- it was not bothering me and that I had the same amount of fluid in the same place last year and that cleared up on its own so I was happy to leave it.
He told me there was a lot of fluid there and it may get infected.
With that- he walked out of the cubicle (obviously very put out that I had questioned his methods) and has told me I have to go and see him again on tuesday.
He did not even look at my breast or how I was healing. I now feel sick at the thought of going back on tuesday and am tempted to do a no show. I do not want to be bullied into having it aspirated as I was always led to beleive that it is better if your body can absorb it and the risk of infection is less if you leave it. I have a very slim frame and I also think any fluid is more obvious on my body than someone of a larger build.
Pleeeeeeeeaaaaaaaase can you give me any advice as I walked in there with no worries at all and now feel as though I have done something wrong. I aslo feel that I dont really know that the appointment was for as he only looked at my back cos I mentioned it in the first place (me and my big mouth) and he never even examined me.
Katyx

Hi Katy,

At my hospital there is always more than one registrar/onc in attendance at any clinic. It is quite acceptable to say to the clinic nurse when you arrive, that you would prefer to see a different onc. Or if you want to prepare ahead of Tuesday do you have a bcn you can phone and explain to her? It is just not acceptable to be railroaded into something you don’t want. Good luck.

dawnhc

Dear Katy
What a terrible experience. I am so angry for you.
We do not know how experienced this excuse for a doctor is. Perhaps he has none.
If this were me. I would ring the hospital asking if you could have an appointment with the nurse, senior registrar or the surgeon. You could explain why, or perhaps if this would be too difficult for you, even say that you could not understand him. Often colleagues know the shortcomings of other staff as patients tend to talk quite openly about experiences.
Please Katy pick up that phone as soon as possible. This is not your fault , you done nothing wrong.You must not be upset about this on top of everything else you are having to cope with. You are entitled to have treatment explained to you. Try not to leave it too long Katy because it can be put right.
Perhaps if you feel unable someone else can ring for you.

Margaret

Thankyou both for your replies- I have just left a message on my breast nurses answerphone and am waiting for her to get back to me- will keep you informed on what she says. I have taken a photo of my "bulge"on my phone so that I can see if its reducing at all, although I think it is wishful thinking to think that it would go down by tuesday (dont forget I am still only 9 days post op and I’m sure it took about 3 weeks last year )and other than than, was feeling wonderful. I still feel very upset 4 hours after the appointment this morning : (
will let you know what my breast nurse says
Katyx

Hi Katy

I agree with the others. Phone your BC nurse and tell her that you are not happy. Technically, he has tried to perform a procedure on you without you giving consent which is not on and actually illegal. If anything had gone wrong, he would be in the firing line. Medics must always obtain informed consent, especially for something invasive like aspiration. . The fact he is unable to communicate with you properly is not your fault and is his problem and he should have not under any circumstances, taken the huff because you questioned him. The fact that you went to have your breast examined and he failed to do so is also something that you could complain about. He is lucky that I didnt see him because a letter to his boss would have been on its way by now. I can’t stand poor communication or arrogance like this. If it were me I would not see him again, unless I had to and like the others have said, ask for another doctor. I have heard of other ladies on this forum doing exactly that and no one at reception has batted an eyelid. I would do it before you get to hospital though as it will be less stressful over the phone.

Good luck

Cathy
x

Hi Katy
I agree, that is totally unacceptable.I was also told it is best to leave it absorb back itself to reduce infection,and to do a procedure without your consent is disgusting.

Take Care
Mary
x

HI All,
I have just had a call back from a breast nurse (There are two at my hospital and my one is on holiday I was told). Anyway I explained what had happened (unforunately got very upset as I was relaying the events) and she was lovely!
She told me that I didnt have to see him on tuesday and that she would cancel the appointment. I told her that I just wanted my breast nurse to look at it and give me her opinion as-even though she is not a doctor or sugeon, we all know that they know what they are talking about and I truly trust her opinion.
She said that my surgeon is away next week, as is my breast nurse and that she will see me on wednesday morning before clinic at 8.30am. She said that if she is concerned then she will get the other resident breast surgeon to look at it.
I DO feel better for speaking to her and the relief that I do not have to go back and see him is overwhelming.
Thankyou all for your replies- I will post again on wednesday and let you know what has been said
Thanks again
Katyx

So glad to hear you resolved this so quickly katy. Acting now has saved you so much anxiety. I think sometimes these registrars just dont realise the stress they can cause us.

dawnhc
xxx

Well done Katy.
Apart from being good for your peace of mind, enough complaints and perhaps something will be done about him.

Margaret

Katy so glad you made that call and it has eased your mind.Have a good weekend.

Mary
xx

HI Katy

I too have had a large swelling, it is under my arm and i have had it drained 3 times, but it was really uncomfortable I couldn’t put my arm down, I thought I would have to go today as well but it has stayed quite a lot smaller so I want to leave it, but all I had to do was ring the BC nurse and she just said come down to the hospital and she would do it, no fuss or anything, Glad you spoke to your nurse, I just think if its not bothering you leave it. I am 3 weeks down the line and it is getting better.

Best of luck with it
Debs x.

Hi All,
just thought I would update you. I went back on wednesday to see the breast nurse (not my usual one as she is on holidy) and she was lovely. She agreed with me that any fluid on my slim frame would show as large as I do not have a lot of fat on me and she “implied” that she knew exactly what I was talking about re my experience with the registrar.
She asked me if she could get the other breast surgeon for his opinion and I agreed (again, my breast surgeon is away) and he thought it should be drained. I agreed to this (it was nice to be consulted- ha!) and he drained 100ml from it. It was quick and painless- BUT it has now filled right back up and I am back where I started. Am due to see my surgeon for a check next wednesday so will bring it up again then- Is 100ml’s alot to have in the grand scheme of things??? and how long do you think I am gonna be stuck with it?? What happens if it never goes? It doesnt hurt or boter me- it just looks a bit unsightly
Thanks in advance
Katyx

Hi Katy
Sorry to hear about your dreadful experience - I am full of rage the way some of them treat us and so glad to hear how it has been dealt with. I wish there was a way we could make it known when someone has dealt in an unsatisfactory way - it is outrageous that he did not inform you or get your consent for a procedure. However, bcn seems to know what’s going on, that helps.

When I had my m-op I had a seroma develop in the hospital which I found dreadfully uncomfortable and it made me feel ill; I don’t know how much it was but it was quite a lot I thought and it was drained but filled right back up again - like you I am skinny but it did look quite large and felt like a hot water bottle swishing with every movement, and heavy; well, anyway, I lived with it for 2 more weeks, feeling fluey with it, and had it drained on my post-op follow-up - and it was 300 ml, a jugful, if you’ll pardon the expression. It was an enormous relief to be rid of it, I felt better immediately, and it didn’t recur after that. One doctor I spoke to said they can recur for months, which made my heart sink, then my surgeon who actually drained if for me said that he did not think it likely, and indeed it didn’t.

HI

Just to let you know I had mine drained 3 times, I think they seem to start going after about three weeks, hope you are more comfortable soon.

Debs x

Hi,

I also had mine drained 4 times and I’ve still got a bit left. I too am very slim so it looks more obvious even when its a little bit. They reckon I’ve got about 50ml left and are happy for it to be left and its not causing any problems. I’m 7 weeks post op and don’t really notice it now.

Andrea x