Pre-op details

I realize that I mentioned my pre-op but I feel I need to elaborate on that subject a bit more.  The appointment was on a thursday and my mom went with me for moral support.  I had a good feeling about Dr. Lehman at my 2 previous appointments.  I found him personable, easy to talk to and reasonable.  He seemed genuinely interested in improving my quality of life and seemed to understand my concerns.

On this day the feeling was completely different!  He was rushed and was in and out of the room in less than 5 minutes.  He didn’t seem concerned with my 15lb unintended weight loss, didn’t explain where the incision would be, what materials he would use, nothing.  He only asked me a few questions about pain, function, how long I have had a hip problem and if I had history of falls from my hip problem. He answered one question I had about whether he would recommend outpatient rehab.  The answer was no, 90% of more go home after and do just fine.

His nurse/medical assistant must have heard me sniffling and came in.  I asked her about the incision and told her I wanted to know what kind of hardware he planned to use.  She told me where the incision would be and told him he needed to come back in the room to explain the hardware.

He came back in for less than 2 minutes only to give me a web site to look at and told me he didn’t have any models that had the same type of material he was planning to use.

I left discouraged and wondering what the hell I was getting myself into.  This group recently changed over to the Carolinas Healthcare System and is in the process of transitioning into that system and leaving the Piedmont System behind.  I have no idea if it was a buy out or a decision made democratically.   But I could certainly tell that he was rushed.  Perhaps without his usual transcriptionist in tow he was overworked that day.

Next stop was the hospital for pre-op testing and to pre-register for surgery.  That was fairly easy, a few questions from a nurse, register for my stay and pay my inpatient fee, and have some blood drawn.  Almost painless except that we were called back to the office for a set of x-rays they forgot to get.

I told my boss about this experience the following day and she said “why are you letting this guy operate on you?”  I figured he was so personable the other times I saw him and everyone is entitled to a bad day.  He’s been doing orthopedic surgery since the year I was born and is the most experienced surgeon in the practice.  Plus he may very well be the only surgeon in this practice or any other close by that accepts my insurance.

I’m glad to say my instinct was right and my experiences going forward have been nothing but positive and he’s been wonderful!  I would highly recommend him to anyone!  Dr. Lehman and a compassionate and caring doctor who really listens and he proved it several times over the past 3 weeks.


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