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Thread: Concerned About Waiting A Year To See A Surgeon

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Fort Erie
    Posts
    5

    Concerned About Waiting A Year To See A Surgeon

    The supply of Harrington Rod specialists seems so scarce that I am waiting until January of 2007 just to have a consultation is this normal? I am waiting to see Dr. Stewart Bailey in London, Ontario. Their office apologized for the long wait, and said to contact them if I no longer needed the appointment. Makes me think they expect I'll look for another specialist with a shorter wait time.

    My case is not urgent, especially since I don't have any pain to speak of now. But I am concerned that a year from now my spine could have moved, for the worse. I got my family doctor to at least send me for a full length spinal X-ray, just so the break in the rod and the loose screw at the bottom could be seen on the same film. (Prior to that I had one thoracic X-ray showing the break, and one Barium swallow showing the loose screw at the bottom - obviously this was found by accident). The family doctor didn't seem to think this was important, but I did. I do still sometimes have a bit of a lump in my throat, even with the medication for acid reflux. I always thought this lump in my throat was related to my spinal problems since it didn't surface until my back seized up last November.

    I guess I'll be patient, but I am considering going back to the family doctor to see if he'll look into wait times for Dr. Stephen Lewis in Toronto.

    Anyone have any thoughts?

    Lindyloo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,794
    Hi Lindyloo...

    Do you know if Dr. Bailey has any experience in scoliosis revision surgery? If he doesn't, and you have to start the wait again next year, perhaps it's better to pursue Dr. Lewis now, since we know for sure that he has the experience.

    Regards,
    Linda

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    913
    Hi Lindyloo,

    You're from Canada and no it's not unusual to wait a year here for an appointment. I'm from Montreal and I have seen and got operated on from the best surgeon as far as scoliosis and revisison surgeries and the wait was 3 months but I had a broken rod and fusion, so it was considered more "urgent", even if the wait for the surgery was another 3 months. The first time I had called to get an appointment, they had told me that some patients wait up to a year. That's the price we pay for having free healthcare, but it doesn't mean that our doctors are not good, and that they don't have and use the best hardware and techniques, as I have learned. So you can try to see another surgeon but it doesn't mean that he would be better-on the contrary, mine has the longest wait and like I said he's by far the best here.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,794
    Hi Sweetness...

    I'm trying to keep track of Canadian surgeons who do revision surgery. Who did yours?

    Dr. Lewis did a fellowship with Keith Bridwell in St. Louis, so I know he did a lot of revision surgery during his training.

    Regards,
    Linda

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    15
    Hi Lindyloo, it's no suprise to hear that you have to wait a year. I was placed on a waitlist a year ago to see the specialist about a loose pedicale screw. I was originally given an 8 month waiting time but was pushed back even further due to my name "misstakenly" being removed from the list. Needless to say I see the specialist in 2 days and its been an anxious few months. I was tols that some people in BC are on the waiting list for 3 years! I consider myself lucky at that rate.
    Anyways consider yourself in good company and Linda is right in sugesting you go for the revision surgery specialist to avoid yet another lengthy wait.

    Linda, I am seeing Dr. Robert Schwegiel in BC. He specializes in scoliosis/revision surgery and did a fellowship in Ontario I believe.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    913
    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine
    Hi Sweetness...

    I'm trying to keep track of Canadian surgeons who do revision surgery. Who did yours?

    Dr. Lewis did a fellowship with Keith Bridwell in St. Louis, so I know he did a lot of revision surgery during his training.

    Regards,
    Linda
    My ortho's name is Jean Ouellet. He used to assist my first surgeon wich was Dr. Max Aebi for my first surgery in '97, until he left town back to his native Switzerland since he got fed up with our medical system. I informed myself well before getting surgery, and after visiting Dr.Ouellet, and another doctor by the name of Dr.Maurais at another hospital, my choice was made. Dr.Maurais told me that my broken rod would be too hard to take out and that made me get a second opinion after some research and go back to my original hospital, wich is the Montreal General with Ouellet's team. He is a kind, patient doctor and put me at ease. I was told that the wait would be at least 4 months for an appointment, but I pressed the secretary along with my family and got an appointment after 2 months. Then I also got my surgery date two months earlier on December 15th 2005, instead of February 2006. Sometimes we have to call back and complain to get an appointment, as I have learned. I got into a few arguments with the secretary as well, but she's highly emotional and not very diplomatic.

    I do think that in anyone's case such as Lindyloo's it's best to pursue another doctor, like Dr.Lewis since you know he's good. It's also better to have appointments with more than one doctor since the wait is so long and it's always good to have more than one opinion.
    Last edited by sweetness514; 02-19-2006 at 06:02 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2
    DR Bailey is an amazing surgeon. He did my last spinal surgery 10 years ago. Back then the waiting time to see him was five months. PArt of the long waiting time to see him has to do with finding an open surgical suite and finding a hospital bed for two weeks, all at the same time as the surgical consultation. The waiting time is probably even longer to see Dr Bailey now, as he is the head of orthopedics in Canada.

    I was a resident of Nova Scotia at the time of my surgery in London so Dr bailey made sure that there was room in the hospital for me when I came up for the appointment so I did not have to come back at a later date for surgery. He worked closely with my orthopedic surgeon in Nova Scotia before I had the surgery and after.

    It is understable that your doctor was not all too concerned with your rod breaking as it happens more than you might think often with no complications. Good luck

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