"Complaint about the surgeon and PALS lady"

About: London Road Community Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

I had a lip plumping beauty treatment in 2005 and saw a surgeon in 2006, where I was advised to have cheiloplasty to remove my tissue granulation which made my lip swell. I was very angry because the surgeon would prefer me to have a fuller lip, but I wanted my lip to look natural, so I wanted a tiny lip. I told him this and also my wish to have a tiny lip was written down on the complaint letter, to make sure if he did operate on me, that as all the tissue granulation should be removed . This surgeon left due to problem, so I was left to see a new surgeon. From the first day I met this new surgeon, he knew what I wanted and that was a tiny lip and I wanted him to respect my wishes and during operation I wanted desperately to have all the vile tissue removed from my lip. I thought he had done this during my operation but I realised after a couple of weeks I still felt a lot of tissue granules and I told both of his co-worker that I hated the lips and they still look disgusting.

I saw the surgeon in mid November where he made some callous comments. He told me that I must have wanted to have lip plumping, and this is the reason why he did not cut any more out, as he was worried that if he removed too much I might not like tiny lip. I was shocked as he has never raised this question before, and I always told him that I wanted as much abnormal tissue removed. I cannot believe he did not ask me whether I would be happy if he cut some more out. Why is he raising this question only now? When I had nearly whole year to discuss with him. So I put a complaint in and said I believe he has not respected my wishes on the first complaint and I wanted a tiny lip, not a disgusting fuller lip.

The most shocking experience I have is that PALS, lady who was dealing with the complaint, was very negative towards me, as if I was a trouble maker. Last year the ladies were fantastic but this year I have been accused of being aggressive. Now I have acceptable behaviour, as this PALS lady did not liaise with me or advise that writing letters and phoning, could be considered harassment, even though last year it was acceptable because I wrote to several departments and nearly called several times and the PAL ladies did not warn me. So I thought it was absolutely normal to write and phone this year. I wanted to talk to PALS and make appointment so they can listen to me but no one wanted to see me. This year, my complaint went from bad to worse because I asked to speak to someone and felt the careless comments what the surgeon had made felt like a punch to the face from him to me and needed to speak to one of the PALS lady, on their job description they make appointment to see patient. One of the ladies was very cold and negative, and accused me of being aggressive but she did not even bother to let me have my say. She kept telling me that I need to be referred. Last year the PALS ladies were kind, but this year I experienced some nastiness, as she has made some cruel comments. For the third time, she told me that no one forced me to have lip plumping and that it was my fault. I was seeking legal advise about this lady accusing me of aggressive, but decided to make a complaint as all I wanted out of this complaint was that the surgeon could operate on me and cut out some more tissue, as this is causing a lot of stress and trauma. Now I have to make a complaint about her, as she has not bothered to talk to me and ask what exactly did I say to their secretary, instead she was being so abrupt and feel she hated me from the start and that she has no intention of helping me or listening me.

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Response from Patient Opinion

Thank you for taking the time to talk about your experiences. It sounds like you have had a very difficult time. Situations like this can be hard for everyone involved. For more information about the complaints procedure, and for advice and further help, contact ICAS, who are the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service. They should be able to clear up what further help you can expect to receive in this matter.
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