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Thread: pre-op photos from the 90's

  1. #1
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    Apr 2011
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    pre-op photos from the 90's

    Just curious if anyone here had surgery in the early 90's for AIS? If yes, did the pre-op photos taken of you include frontal topless ones? This would be for a typical AIS case. Just wondering because I was 13 and remember the photographer asking me to remove my bra and telling me my face would not be in them and they would only be used in medical literature and journals. However, I recently requested my photos from the hospital and the CD I received did not include the frontal topless photos I took. Wondering what the protocol was at that time.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by linzlu28 View Post
    Just curious if anyone here had surgery in the early 90's for AIS? If yes, did the pre-op photos taken of you include frontal topless ones? This would be for a typical AIS case. Just wondering because I was 13 and remember the photographer asking me to remove my bra and telling me my face would not be in them and they would only be used in medical literature and journals. However, I recently requested my photos from the hospital and the CD I received did not include the frontal topless photos I took. Wondering what the protocol was at that time.
    I'm sure it depends on the doctor. I've had many conversations with scoliosis doctors, and the subject of patients feelings about such photos. Industry standards are that all patient data, including photos, be de-identified, which includes masking the identity of the patient by covering at least the patient's eyes, and storing photos without patient identifiers. With that said, I've seen many photos of patients without their identity masked. I've even seen sensitive photos shown at medical meetings without masking. It always made me incredibly uncomfortable, knowing that many of those patients didn't feel they had a choice. By the way, there are ways to get good photos of patients without having them strip down.

    If you feel strongly about it, I suggest that you contact your doctor and ask them to ensure that your photos have been destroyed, including both printed and electronic copies. While you're at it, it wouldn't hurt to let them know that those photos made you uncomfortable.

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  3. #3
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    Sep 2019
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    Who was this photographer? It wasn't the doctor who took the photos? Were you alone or with a parent?

  4. #4
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    Apr 2011
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    It was the hospital photographer in the media department at a major US children's hospital. I don't know his name but I've requested it from the hospital.

    My mom and I met with the photographer. It was just us 3. He asked her if she wanted to be in any media photos for the hospital and she declined. He then had her have a seat outside the area where my photos were taken. The area where my photos were taken had curtains that somewhat blocked her view of us and she did not hear his instructions to me or the camera clicking.

    After my mom walked out, me and the photographer walked over to the far side of the room and I remember verbatim his request it was "Hey we really need to get some photos of you without your bra, can I take those? They won't show your face and they will only be seen by other doctors at doctors meetings and used in medical journals." I said "you sure my face won't be in them, you promise." He said "yes." Then I said "ok."

    I hated taking those photos. That feeling of being topless with my developing breasts exposed with the camera flicking has stayed etched in my mind as one of the worst experiences of my scoliosis treatment. I had to take his word he cropped my head. Well, come to find out he lied! All the photos the hospital sent me have my entire face showing. Not a single one blocked any of my identity and the topless on is completely missing. In the frontal one with my bra on, the center of my bra is twisted. This is because I had no mirror to put my bra back on after I removed it to take the topless pic.

    At the time in my 13 yo mind I truly believed these photos were just another miserable yet necessary part of the scoliosis surgery. So it never struck me as odd just very unpleasant. For all these years I never knew these photos were my pre-op photos. The photographer never called them pre-op. I honestly thought they were in medical journals with my head cropped out.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by linzlu28 View Post
    Well, come to find out he lied! All the photos the hospital sent me have my entire face showing. Not a single one blocked any of my identity and the topless on is completely missing. In the frontal one with my bra on, the center of my bra is twisted. This is because I had no mirror to put my bra back on after I removed it to take the topless pic.
    He may, indeed, have lied. But, the source photos would not be cropped or masked. That would have hopefully occurred at the time your photos would have been submitted for meeting presentations or publication.
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    218
    Wow, I just realized you are the same poster who put up two negative reviews of surgeons. You have not had good experiences.

    I don't like that the photographer asked you to take that photo after your mother had walked off. That's wrong. That would not happen today and if it did it would be a red flag.

    Patients (and their parents) need to be more aware of their rights. Question things more. Ask why a photo needs to be taken. Ask the doctor, also.

    Not that I have been much better in my medical experiences. It's hard to know how much to push back. Question too much and you become a "difficult patient".

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Midlands, UK
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    Yes, this happened to me in 1984 when I was 11. My parents weren't with me and at the time I was a shy girl and just went along with whatever I was asked to do.

    It's only years later that I have looked back and thought this was not quite right, although in the 80s maybe it was?
    Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis diagnosed aged 6/7
    Milwaukee brace 1980 - 1984, Fused T2 - L3 with Harrington Rod 1984, 10 rib costoplasty 1999, artificial disc at L3/L4 2003, extended fusion to L5 2006.
    2015 - Sagittal plane imbalance correction by insertion of 30 degree hyperlordotic cage at L5/S1 level (anterior approach) with fixation to pelvis (posterior approach) now fused T2 to sacrum.
    2017 - October - SI joint fusion - left side
    2017 - December - Revision of failed left SI joint fusion

  8. #8
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    Sep 2019
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    A lot of practices went on in the past that you wouldn't see today. In the 70's as a teen I went to my mother's doctor for gynecology exams. He had his own practice in an office (in a part of the city that had grown seedy) with no nurse and no office staff, just himself. It was a creepy feeling going there alone though nothing objectionable happened. These days a male gynecologist, of which there are fewer, would have a female nurse present for exams. My mother worshipped this doctor and trusted for me to be on my own. You don't get outright worship for doctors anymore.
    Last edited by Tina_R; 11-11-2020 at 05:19 PM.

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