1. Mistakes Are Probably More Common Than You Would ThinkMistakes happen...surgeons are humans after all. And, despite the fact that they are incredibly talented and well-trained mistakes are inevitable. And, most of the time these are little things and not serious mistakes so that the person is rarely affected by it anyway.Image Source/ Hospital NewsIn essence, the acknowledgment of human fallibility in the medical field is not a cause for undue concern, but rather an integral part of the ongoing efforts to improve patient care. Surgeons, driven by a commitment to their profession and their patients, strive to minimize the occurrence of mistakes.Original content sourced from Femanin.com
2. They Won't Tell You About The MistakeIf a mistake did happen, something not so serious where the patient was fine and they would never realise - that the surgeon generally will not inform them of it. If it is a mistake that they managed to overcome then many surgeons don't feel that it is necessary.Image Source/ DoctorlIBUltimately, the decision to disclose a mistake to a patient often hinges on a delicate balance between the potential impact on the patient's well-being and the ethical imperative of transparency. Healthcare providers are increasingly encouraged to foster open communication with patients.
3. They Sometimes Get Abuse From PatientsSometimes patients will give verbal abuse to their surgeon - or even sometimes physical. Whether this is because the patient is in a rage, is delirious or having an alcoholic rage. It is not a common occurrence as the surgeon doesn't usually interact with the patient.Image Source/ VOXSurgeons, like all healthcare professionals, are committed to providing the best possible care for their patients. Instances of abuse can be emotionally challenging for surgeons, who may be grappling with the dual responsibility of ensuring patient well-being while maintaining their own professional composure.
4. About 25 Percent Of Operations May Be UnnecessaryThis depends on the hospital, the country and the rules regarding surgery. But, it is thought that there are a lot of unnecessary surgeries. This is because hospitals want to generate more money. And, surgery is something that they get a lot of money for.Image Source/ WikiSo sometimes administrators encourage more surgeries than perhaps are necessary. It's important to note that not all instances of perceived unnecessary surgeries are driven solely by financial motives. Other factors, such as variations in medical opinions and patient expectations.
5. When Things Go Badly They Have Stress Levelling MethodsOf course, surgery is not always successful. And, sometimes there is nothing the surgeon can do to save somebody's life despite trying their best. Each surgeon has their own calming mechanisms. According to one surgeon, as soon as he feels things going badly he starts talking very politely as a way to calm his mind.Image Source/ HealthlineIn essence, the world of surgery is not only about technical expertise but also about the ability to navigate the emotional complexities that arise when things don't go as planned. Surgeons, with their unique coping mechanisms, exemplify the resilience required to navigate the interplay of skill.
6. The Only Way To Know What Really Went On Is To Read The NotesOf course, when you are being operated on there is no way to know what is really going on in that surgery room. And, many people are thankful for their operation and do not want to know behind the scenes. If you do, just ask to see the surgery notes then you'll really know.Image Source/ MBBS helpThe availability of surgery notes empowers patients who wish to gain a more comprehensive understanding of their medical journey. It fosters a sense collaboration between healthcare providers and patients, reinforcing that patients are better actively participating in their own healthcare decisions.
7. They Sometimes Find Strange ThingsInside bodies sometimes there are pretty gross and unexpected things found. One doctor said, “As I was running my hand along the bowel, I came upon something and said, ‘What the heck is this?’ It felt like a condom. Then all of a sudden, it wiggled! I dropped it, shocked. The guy had worms.”Image Source/ List VerseIt's worth noting that these occurrences are relatively rare, and the majority of surgeries proceed without such unexpected revelations. Nevertheless, they serve as vivid reminders of the intricate and sometimes mysterious aspects of the human body. Medical professionals navigate these situations.
8. Lots Of Surgeons Have A Financial Conflict Of InterestThere are a lot of surgeons who face a conflict of interest between ethics and money. This is not to say they would jeopardise your health in any way. It just means that they may be more inclined to go down the surgery route rather than an alternative as it provides then with more money.Image Source/ WikipediaThe intersection of healthcare and financial considerations introduces a complex dynamic. It's important to recognize that financial conflicts of interest are inherent to the current healthcare system, and addressing them requires a collective effort from healthcare professionals, institutions, policymakers, and patients.
9. Most Surgeons Have A Complications RateIf someone has been a surgeon for a while, the likelihood is that they will have a complications rate. This does not mean that they are not competent, it means that each case is different and sometimes complications are inevitable depending on the state of the person.Image Source/ sguIn fact, sometimes people think it is more worrying if they do not have one because they may be very new or may be hiding something. Patients, in turn, should be informed about the potential for complications and engage in open communication with their healthcare providers.
10. Surgeons Sometimes Make The Wrong IncisionThe future incision is marked with a pen on the patient. And, if this pen is marked on wrongly this can lead to the wrong incision being made or an incision being made in the wrong place. This has happened before multiple times and sometimes it may be the wrong side of the body.Image Source/ BetternewsIn the aftermath of a wrong incision, healthcare providers engage in thorough root cause analysis to understand the factors contributing to the error and implement corrective actions. Moreover, technological advancements have been integrated to provide additional layers of safety.
11. Fatigue Can Interfere With PerformanceSurgeons hours totally depend - sometimes they are needed a lot and they can work very unsociable and long hours. They may be in surgery for hours on end, and then wake up and have to do it all over again. Of course, fatigue affects performance even those who are a professional.Image Source/ The New Classical FM
But, it is something they learn to deal with. Moreover, advancements in technology and surgical techniques, such as robotic-assisted surgery, can offer support by minimizing physical strain and providing enhanced precision. These technological tools contribute to a comprehensive strategy.
12. Surgeons Are All About ControlSurgeons sometimes call themselves control freaks. Paul Ruggeri who is the author of Confessions of a Surgeon: The Good, the Bad, and the Complicated, said “When things don’t go our way in the operating room, we can have outbursts. Some of us curse, some throw instruments, others have tantrums.”
Image Source/ NPRWhile the term "control freak" may carry a negative connotation in some contexts, in the surgical realm, it often denotes a commitment to excellence and a determination to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients. The pursuit of control is not just about managing the technical aspects of surgery.
13. It’s Better To Have Surgery Early In The WeekLots of doctors and surgeons go away for the weekend, so it means that if you have your surgery at the end of the week, the same surgeon who operated on you may not be available if you face complications. Of course, picking your surgery date is not usually an option however. Image Source/ Hospital NewsWhile the availability of the surgical team is a factor to consider, patients should be reassured that healthcare institutions are equipped to handle unexpected events and complications, regardless of the day of the week. Additionally, open communication with the healthcare team can help patients understand.
14. Some Surgeons Make A LOT Of Money From Device ManufacturersSometimes doctors make up to millions from devices from manufacturers. Sometimes the same doctors have actually performed a record number of implants for that company. Of course, this can then be an incentive to use those devices from that manufacturer which may not always be the best option.
Image Source/ Very well healthHealthcare institutions and professional organizations have developed guidelines and policies to address these concerns. Many advocate for disclosure of financial relationships between healthcare providers and industry, allowing patients to be aware of potential conflicts of interest.
15. Death Really Affects ThemSome people are under the perception that surgeons get so used to dealing with death that it no longer affects them or they are able to shrug it off. This is not the case. Surgeons who experience death with their surgery are very much affected and feel loss for their family who are waiting for them.Image Source/ facs.orgPeer support and open communication within the medical community foster an environment where surgeons can share their experiences, seek guidance, and find solace in the shared understanding of the complexities of their profession. The idea that surgeons become emotionally immune to the effects of death is a misconception.
16. Some Surgeons Won’t Mention Operations They Don’t Know How To PerformThis means that if you need surgery, the surgeon might suggest a surgery which, they can personally complete. Yet, there potentially may be another way to do it which would be better, however, if they do not know how to perform it personally then they will not suggest it as an option.
Image Source/ medpagetodayHealthcare systems also play a role in fostering a culture that values continuous learning and collaboration. Interdisciplinary teams, where specialists from different fields collaborate on complex cases, can contribute to a more comprehensive approach to patient care.
17. They Can Switch States And Get A New LicenseSo in the U.S, a surgeon may receive a penalty for example a D.U.I but if they switch states then they could get a license there and potentially be performing a surgery a day after. Sometimes the background check is not always completed due to it taking time and 10 dollars per check.Image Source/ njrcentreConcerns about such loopholes in the system have prompted discussions within the medical community and regulatory bodies. Efforts are being made to enhance collaboration between state medical boards and improve the efficiency of background checks.
18. Don’t Always Take Your Primary Care Doctor’s First RecommendationEven when your primary care doctor gives a recommendation doesn't always mean it may be the best choice for you. Referrals may possibly be motivated for different reasons such as doctors working within the same multi-specialty group. A second opinion is always good.
Image Source/ cnn.comPatients are encouraged to actively engage in their healthcare decision-making process and advocate for their well-being. If your primary care doctor recommends a particular course of action, don't hesitate to ask questions, seek clarification, and express any concerns you may have.
19. Sometimes They Don't Inform You About Side EffectsSometimes you will be recommended a surgery and the surgeon will carry it out but they often do not inform the patient of potential side effects. It's a very good idea if you are considering surgery to ask about any side effects that may happen as a result.Image Source/ wikiOr if the surgery may not be totally necessary and there are other options. Additionally, patients have the right to seek a second opinion before deciding to undergo surgery. Consulting with another healthcare professional can offer an alternative perspective and provide additional information.
20. Go To Your Pre-Op Appointment With A Family MemberMany people suggest that you should attend your pre-op appointment with a family member if possible. The reason behind their thinking is that you may receive better care and treat you as someone with loved ones rather than someone to merely operate on.Image Source/ zimmerbionetMedical discussions during the pre-op appointment may involve complex information. Having a family member present can help ensure that all important details are understood and remembered. They can take notes, ask clarifying questions, and assist in recalling information later.
21. The Most Stressful Thing For A Surgeon Is A Non-Compliant PatientNot only does a surgeon get stressed for potential complications during surgery but another thing that weighs on their mind is when they have a patient who does not comply. This is when a surgeon has recommended a certain treatment in their best interest.Image Source/ imdbOr perhaps suggested a method of after-care after the operation - and the patient ignores them. To address these challenges, effective communication and patient education become paramount. Surgeons may invest additional time in explaining the rationale behind recommended treatments.
22. Obesity Makes Things More Difficult For The SurgeonIt is not something that a surgeon will openly discuss, the fact that it is harder to operate on patients who are largely overweight or obese. This is for a variety of reasons including the fact that the incisions have to go deeper through more layers of fat etc.Image Source/ topdoctors.comObesity is associated with an increased risk of certain complications, such as wound healing issues, infections, and respiratory challenges during and after surgery. Surgeons must carefully manage these risks to ensure the best possible outcomes for the patient.
23. They Love receiving Thank You LettersThis is often something that people don't bother to do because they are under the impression that the surgeon will have so many patients that they perhaps don't have time for letters. Wrong. Surgeons love receiving grateful letters which make them feel appreciated.Image Source/ PinterestMedicine, including surgery, is a challenging field with its share of complexities and demanding situations. Positive feedback in the form of thank-you letters can serve as a motivational factor, encouraging surgeons to continue providing high-quality care and striving for excellence.
24. They Truly CareThis point is along similar lines. Some people think that operations, saving lives, and performing complex procedures is just something they take as part of the job. But they do truly care about each individual case and patient and their well-being and health.Image Source/ en.emergency.netMany surgeons engage in ongoing relationships with their patients, providing continuity of care beyond the operating room. Follow-up appointments, monitoring progress, and addressing post-operative concerns are integral components of their commitment to patient care.
25. Some Surgeons Have Been Found Taking PicturesNow, this is not common. Most surgeons have integrity and respect for their patient but there are cases where some surgeons have been found taking pictures of their patient while they are unconscious on the operating table, merely for their own amusement.Image Source/ surgeons.orgThe discovery of such behavior can have profound effects on the trust patients place in the medical profession as a whole. It may lead to feelings of betrayal and reluctance to seek medical care in the future. Surgeons found engaging in unethical behavior may face severe professional consequences.
26. Question If You Need A StentHaving a stent is an amazing thing which, can save lives. But that being said, it is sometimes not the only option. There are some instances where medication would also work. Because having a stent is having a foreign substance permanently implanted in your body which comes with some risks too.
Image Source/ Pursuit.comWhile stents can be highly effective in restoring blood flow to the heart, they are not without risks. Complications such as blood clots, stent thrombosis, and restenosis (re-narrowing of the artery) can occur. Patients should be informed about these potential risks and inquire about strategies.