I am doing the rounds of doctors with my son. I feel like I have walked into the middle of an old boys’ club, a secret society.
My son has had an echocardiogram done, but no one will tell us the results. I have asked, but not been given a straight answer. The surgeon who agreed to see our son has told us that, no, he cannot perform the surgery. However, he “has two pectus excavatum cases now and if [he] can just find a third [he] can get his mate to come up from Brisbane to do it here while [he] assists.” Is he advertising for one more? Do we wait for six months until a third case shows up? Do we scout around ourselves and hope to find a third?
Do we consult with the other doctor first – before he arrives here to operate on our son? No, it’s OK. He’ll ring his mate later and talk to him about it. He’ll just let us know later what is happening.
We are told that our son’s heart has been displaced by his ribs – it has been pushed too far to the left. We are told that he has a heart murmur that he has NEVER had this identified before. We are told that he has a significantly reduced lung capacity because of the shape of his ribs. THEN we are told that the procedure we are seeking is purely cosmetic.
I asked, “When does it move from cosmetic to medical?”, and I reviewed all of the above information. The surgeon told me that no causal link could be proven. What does that mean???? An enormous hole in your chest might be a contributing factor, but we can’t prove it. How about we pop a hole into his chest and see if he has any ill effects.
Today I rang the college of thoracic surgeons myself. I spoke to a lovely lady, who didn’t mind at all when I got teary. She told me to go back to my GP and seek a second opinion. She gave me her phone number and wants the GP to ring her.
I love that lady.