As said in my July 7th post, he is undoubtedly a very skilled surgeon so I am very happy with this side of things but the few things I was not happy were are as follows:
1. In my initial consultation I felt rushed through my questions. He spent the majority of the time going through general information that I was already VERY familiar with (I do understand why he had to do this but it felt like it was very routine rather than listening to me directly). I did get the hour I was promised but he was looking at his watch as soon as this was done and my questions were still not answered. He did give me a few more minutes but I did not appreciate being rushed (he was on his way to Heathrow to deliver training in Switzerland, but I had flown over from Ireland and paid over £500 for his consultation and the related scan). I had a consultation with an Irish pain consultant recently and did not feel in any way rushed when we went over the hour and this only cost €150.
2. I woke from my surgery to find I had four incisions in my abdomen. I had already had two laparoscopies in the past (one incision each time) so did not realise that there was the possibility of more than one incision. All was fine in the end but I would have liked to have been aware this would or could be the case. Any other operations I have had in the past have been fully explained to me beforehand, so I was taken aback. I did not have the courage to question him on this while still in the hospital. I did ask in an e-mail at a later point but received no reply to this particular question.
3. The main source of my pain post-op, was from the catheter which is linked to nerve pain coming from my vagina which is still causing me extreme difficulty (the operation did not cause this, just exacerbated it). The pain from my incisions was barely noticeable in comparison. Dr. Barton-Smith did not seem to listen to me explaining this. When one of the wonderful nurses at the hospital advocated on my behalf in relation to this pain (over the phone as he was finished for the day) he gave out to them and made them cry. It was the end of a long day for him I am sure, but also for me and the nurse so this did not impress me. Fortunately the doctor on site at the hospital that night agreed with the nurse and I got the care that I needed (all I needed was to stay over night and not move – I was going to be paying for it, not him, but he did not seem to appreciate the nurse making a suggestion that would help the patient).
4. I had also had very successful ablation for endo over 20 years ago of which he was very dismissive. I do understand why excision is considered the preferred treatment option but the fact remains that in my mid 20’s, I had gone from a diagnosis of severe M.E. to being back to normal after ablation (all my M.E. type symptoms were as a result of the endo). Apart from painful periods (controlled by the continuous pill) I had not had other endo symptoms until those that led to my recent surgery (these were caused by an interval vaginal physiotherapy session that resulted in on-going nerve pain radiating from this area, but also upset a small bit of endo tissue that added extra abdominal pain to this issue – the combination of both led to me being unable to work, walk and sit!). Thankfully I can now walk and work part-time as the endo related pain is gone (thanks to Peter), but my nerve pain means that I cannot sit upright without causing myself a lot of debilitating pain (so cannot dirve, cycle, play the piano etc. – all things I used to do a lot of!). I know this is not relevant to your query but it might give some context. If I was 100% “cured” after my operation I may not have even remembered the few minor negative things I have listed above.
In summary, it is wonderful that Peter has dedicated his professional life to endo surgery and research so we can benefit from his skills.
His direct way of communicating with patients via e-mail is also very efficient and his e-mail interaction is extremely polite and quick in response.
However, he is still human and like everyone can have bad days I’m sure, but I did feel that as endo is his 100% focus he may be less open to thinking outside this particular box.
That said, I am still very glad I had surgery with him last February (getting in before lockdown was a lifesaver) as I know that he has definitely removed any endo that is present – any symptoms related to this are completely gone.
Best of luck on your journey. I hope you get the care your need, at the earliest opportunity.
Let me know if I can be of any other assistance.