Previous surgeons

I don't know about you but for me, getting the right surgeon or GP is very important. Unless I'm just having a cold then any doctor will do. But anything more than a cold and I will choose which doctor to go to. Here is my experiences with my previous surgeons before I had my scoliosis operation.

Surgeon No.1
I remember when I went to see the first surgeon about my scoliosis, he sent me to the x-ray room even before meeting me. While I was walking into his room to see him, he was already measuring my cobb angle and without saying anything he turned around and said 'need to operate la.' Operate la? What on earth! I was so furious at him because he didn't ask me anything at all, not even a simple 'how are you?' or anything about my back at all. I immediately stood up, took my x-rays and left the hospital.

To me, doctors like that only want one thing, cut you open and take your money. He didn't care if I was a national swimmer or if I wanted to go further in my swimming or not. I left and never went back to that hospital again.

Surgeon No. 2
This surgeon happened to be assisting the head surgeon during my mum's scoliosis operation back in 2007. The head surgeon that operated on my mum left this hospital and went to a private hospital. The head surgeon became surgeon No.3.

I consulted this surgeon a few years after my mum's operation. I ask him what I should do and so on. He knew I was a national swimmer so he didn't immediately ask me to go for an operation. but what I did not like about him was that he has no compassion for his patients. He'll rush through whatever question you have and sometimes even say 'it's okay wan la' or 'it's like that' when the matter at hand is really actually a serious issues. (Yes I have encounter this personally.) He rushes through the appointments and just wants to see everyone as quickly as possible.

This was a big no no to me. Some of my questions weren't even answered properly and some question I just got a "aiya it's like that" answer. That's when I decided to see surgeon no. 3.

Surgeon No. 3
Dr Deepak Singh. One of the most gentle, kind and caring doctor I've met. As mentioned previously, he was the head surgeon who operated on my mum's case. I went to see Dr Deepak for my yearly check ups. It was only until last year (2016) when I saw Dr Deepak that my scoliosis really took a turn curve. He measured my cobb angle and it was at 68 degrees. I immediately broke down because the year before that I did a lot of corrective exercises for my scoliosis and thought that it looked somewhat better or at least it would have stop curving. But I was so wrong. I can't remember what Dr Deepak said to me after that as I was too upset to listen.

The only thing I did hear was that scoliosis would become a complicated surgery if the curve was anything more than 70 degrees. I knew that I had to get the operation done soon but I didn't know when or where. I was training to qualify for the RIO 2016 Olympics and I had to focus on that first.

Sometime in May/June 2016 I decided that, if I make it to Rio, then I'll get the surgery done at the end of August when I came back from Rio, and if I don't make it to Rio then I will get the operation done in July.

Long story short, I didn't make it to Rio and wanted to get the surgery done soon but the cost at the hospital where Dr Deepak works at was just too high. So the doctor at the National Sports Institution sent me to KL Hospital and that's where I met surgeon No. 4.

Surgeon No. 4
Dato Dr Fazir. Another gentle, kinda and caring doctor I know. You can read more about Dr Fazir here.

Overall, you really need to find a surgeon that you're comfortable with. Don't just go to the first surgeon that tells you to go under the knife. Get a few different opinions and make your decision. Remember, spinal fusion is a HUGE operation and you would want the best person to work on you.

Good luck!!!

Cai Lin


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