Yesterday I was contacted by Dr. Eileen Consorti’s office. (Dr. Consorti is a surgeon to whom I was referred a few years ago, after my primary-care doctor noticed I had a tiny hernia — so small I hadn’t noticed it.)
“Can I ask a favor of you?” her assistant began. The favor was to remove her name from my blog. Why? I asked. Because when someone googles her, he said, what you have written comes up, and it isn’t favorable. (When I googled her name yesterday this was the first result. When I googled the same thing today, it was the seventh result.) He said nothing about any inaccuracy. I said if she has anything to add, I would be happy to amend what I wrote. He asked if I had any “further” questions for Dr. Consorti. No, I said. The conversation ended.
Then I realized I did have a question. During my discussion with her of whether or not I should have surgery, I had said that surgery is dangerous. Dr. Consorti had replied that no one had died during any of her surgeries. She had said nothing about the likelihood of other bad outcomes. That struck me as incomplete. My question was: Why no mention of other bad outcomes? I phoned Dr. Consorti’s office, reached the person I’d spoken to earlier, and told him my question. He tried to answer it. I said I wanted to know Dr. Consorti’s answer. Wait a moment, he said. He came back to the phone. He had spoken to “the doctor”, he said. She wasn’t interested in “further dialog”. She would contact a lawyer, he told me.
Dr. Consorti, if you are reading this, I am happy to publish verbatim anything you have to say about this.
Thanks to Tucker Max.
More On November 18, 2011, soon after I posted this, Dr. Consorti asked me to post the following:
Dr. Fitzgibbons from Creighton published a prospective study comparing repair of inguinal hernias versus watchful waiting in men with asymptomatic inguinal hernias. At five years twenty percent of the patients in the observation group crossed over to have surgical repair. By the way, I only get reimbursed $300.00 dollars to repair a hernia not thousands of dollars. I hope you asymptomatic always, thanks.
Even after all this, Dr. Consorti has described the Fitzgibbons study in a way that makes her recommendation seem more reasonable than it was. As I said, the results of that study do not support her recommendation. Its abstract says: “Watchful waiting is an acceptable option for men with minimally symptomatic inguinal hernias. Delaying surgical repair until symptoms increase is safe.”