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As some may recall I had a gall bladder attack in early December. I was admitted to Southampton General Hospital, apparently with the goal of taking out my gall bladder. That did not happen, due to me. Now jump forward 6 weeks later.

I had an appointment to see the General Surgeon, one Mr Hilal. Is he a good surgeon, I don’t know. I don’t know much about him. I fully understood why I had this appointment, though it was never discussed when I was being discharged — they wanted to book me in for surgery. In early December I said I wouldn’t agree to anything unless a urologist got involved. I have yet to see a urologist so I won’t agree to anything until then. This was made abundantly clear in December, but maybe it was assumed I’d change my mind, but that was what happened today – pressure to sign off on surgery.

I was taken into an examination room by two medical students – I always ask what year they are in as I want to know how much education they’ve had before they try poking me. I gave my medical history. I am not surprised they had never heard of a mitrofanoff but I would have expected them to at least heard a bit about Bladder Exstrophy.  Sadly I was asked how often I change my catheter, even though I said I catheterise intermittently. I don’t have an indwelling catheter, and I made that abundantly clear. Sadly I don’t think they were paying much attention to my answers.

Then a General Surgeon came in, don’t remember his name, some young fellow. He took a peek at my abdomen and said oh yes we can do this laparoscopically. I said no, you wont’ be able to, it has been tried before. It was hinted that Canada is a backwards country when it comes to surgical procedures cos they weren’t able to do it with the laparoscope in June. I said it would have to be a full surgery. Oh this doesn’t look too difficult, let’s schedule the surgery. Wait a minute, I refuse to sign my consent until I see a urologist. So then Mr Hilal walked in, after I kept saying I refuse to give consent until I see a urologist.

He said oh we’ll start with the laparoscope first and if that doesn’t work we’ll just enlarge the incision and do a full surgery. Hmmm if I give consent, I think to myself, it would be for the smaller surgery .. just try and slice me while I’m under, without my consent, and there will be a lawsuit. Again, I had to remind him that I told him in December and I’m saying it again – no surgery until I see a urologist.

Because a general surgeon is a one off to me, with regards to developing a relationship with I don’t really care much about them. But for a urologist I need to develop a relationship and make sure they are right for me – as I have to cope with them until I either move, die or they retire. So I need to find the right now. I have an appointment with Mr Birch, but I need to make sure he can take care of my urological issues.

So my question to myself is – are all UK surgeons so slice happy and impatient? Are they so used to pressurising their patients into agreeing to their whims?