Day surgery communication

(as the patient),

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About: Albany Health Campus / Surgical Ward

I was turned away from a routine colonoscopy procedure recently.  There is a long waiting list for this procedure so it may be a long time before I get in again. The preparation is inconvenient and uncomfortable and shouldn't be repeated unnecessarily.  

I knew that being on blood-thinning medication was a complication for surgery so I was particular to inquire of my General Practitioner (GP) (as per WACHS instructions) and the Anaesthetist who advised that not taking the dose the night before was appropriate.  

I went through the 4 days preparation, consisting of a low fibre reduction diet for 72 hours, liquid-only diet for 24 hours and fasting for 16 hours prior to admission. I consumed the 3 litres of laxative liquid and did not take my blood thinning medication after 28 hours prior to admission.

I re-arranged my affairs to avoid commitments for all of the day of the surgery, so I was very annoyed to be told that the Duty Surgeon insists on 48 hours abstinence of blood-thinning medication prior to surgery.  This should be a fairly standard and well-communicated requirement. It is very frustrating to go through all the required consultations with GPs and the Anaesthetist and the inconvenient, uncomfortable dieting, to say nothing of costs to myself and the health system, to hear at the eleventh hour that the Surgeon doesn't want to proceed because the higher bar was not achieved.

The surgery was running late so I believe that at least they would be happy to have one less procedure to perform.

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Response from Juan Clark, Operations Manager, Operations, Albany Health Campus, WACHS Great Southern

Dear HungryGrouch,

You are absolutely correct, preparing for colonoscopies is not a pleasant process and I am very sorry that your procedure was cancelled, despite your diligent preparation.

In order to investigate your feedback comprehensively and to learn from your experience, particularly with regards to the mixed messaging around halting your blood-thinning medication, would you consider contacting us directly on 9892 2620? We will then be able to ask one of our surgical team to review your case and provide you with a more comprehensive response to your feedback.

I am very sorry for the inconvenience that this has caused you and hope that your procedure has been rescheduled.

With best wishes.

Juan Clark

Albany Health Campus Operations Manager

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