Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Routine operation

It was just a routine out-patient appointment. My wife's vision had been deteriorating and we thought that a cataract was getting near to needing an operation. The conultant ophthalmologist took about 5 minutes to agree with us. My daughter's wedding is less than three weeks away so timing was critical. "I could do it this afternoon, " said the Consultant.

So this morning she is 18 hours post-op and seeing things brightly again.

Socialist medicine. Terrible isn't it!


Anonymous said...

It is a blessing, indeed, that your wife's cataract was so promptly dealt with, but don't discount several factors...

1. she is the wife of a physician

2. the operating physician obviously had a "hole" in his schedule (and idle time is the devil's)

In our "capitalistic" fee for service world here in the US, I have often offered 'same day service" when the patient's condition merited it or whenever a cancellation, etc has left a "hole' in my schedule. This only makes sense. I have to admit, also, to bending over backwards to offer prompt care to my colleagues and their families.

Lastly, do realize that many of my "captialist", fee for service friends who are ophthalmologists routinely go to third world countries in Africa as well as to small villages in Mexico where they perform numerous free eye examinations and cataract surgeries (etc) almost in a factory line fashion to help those less fortunate people who can benefit from their expertise. Simple cataract surgery can be performed in a tent.

We donate all of our old glasses to help these people afterwards.

One certainly hopes that your wife has no complications from her surgery, but the true test of the system is how readily available a prompt corneal transplant can be undertaken when things go awry following cataract surgery (a very rare, but real event).

Best of luck to you and your wife!


Terry Hamblin said...

I was only jesting. Of course, I realize the special circumstances. Still it's nice to know that the government doesn't interfere with common courtesy.

I remember diagnosing lung cancer in a colleague (it was causing SVC compression). His biopsy, diagnosis and radiotherapy were all done on the same day. Physicians are very privileged.

The work of surgeons in particular on the Mercy Ships is a great example to us.

Randy Shannon said...

Dr Hamblin,

I am glad your wife's cataract was corrected so easily...

As you may note, healthcare issues are a somewhat emotional issue here in the states.

Hope you are felling well...

God Bless,

Anonymous said...

I was scheduled to have a splenectomy on Feb 12, 2007 in Gainesville, FL. A week before that, a BMBx report came in showing extensive marrow involvement. The splenectomy was cancelled, and they started me on FCR on Feb 12 instead, for which I was admitted to the hospital.

How many places in the world are people treated that well that quickly?

Terry Hamblin said...

I think that should be standard of care in all hospitals.

Deb Light said...

How is your wife doing?So glad she could be worked in before the wedding!

I pleaded for a BMB the day I was DXed with CLL instead of waiting 6 weeks and having to dread it.First my Dr. said they couldn't.I said Please just check and he did and came back and said yes.Within the hour I had it over with.Thank God!!