Re: My adhesiolysis experience.........based on Bev's message.......

From: chris smith (
Tue May 23 07:36:25 2000

At Sun, 21 May 2000, Helen Dynda wrote: >
>[ I decided to re-post my message, because I find it difficult to read
>messages which extend beyond the space, which is allowed for them to be
>written. ]
>[] I have deleted a good share of Bev's adhesiolysis experience because
>I wanted to focus on the issue of how medical insurance ( in my case
>Medicare and supplemental insurance) can affect the way that doctors and
>surgeons choose to do business with their patients.
>At Sat, 20 May 2000, Bernie and Beverly Doucette wrote:
>" Because insurance company's across the USA have set rates ( ceiling
>rates ) on most surgical procedures...and they set a rate for that
>procedure based on what they think it SHOULD in a normal "
>Adhesiolysis " procedure, the usual rate across the board is about $2500
>total! Now that means that no matter who the surgeon is, or the facility
>where it is performed in, the insurance company will pay no more then
>that matter how long the procedure is, no matter how skilled
>the surgeon or reputation of the surgeon, that is the amount they pay as
>that is what they feel that particular surgery should cost. That rate
>is based on the amount of time and the " importance " of the
>adhesiolysis procedure.
>" Most insurance company's feel that an adhesiolysis procedure SHOULD be
>able to be performed in about 1.5 - 2 hours TOPS!!! Why? Well, as you
>know, MOST surgeons and DR's do NOT feel that adhesions in and of
>themselves are a disease or cause a problem...unless you
>it is their impression that a surgeon should be able to go in,
>laparotomy or laparoscopically, and simply slice them apart...but they
>also feel that it should be or is usually done in relationship to a
>cooperative surgery such as a hysterectomy, appendectomy or some other
>type of surgical procedure...and if you look and listen to other ARD
>sufferers, there has always been another reason or procedure done when
>they had an adhesiolysis...know why? Because the surgeon gets more money
>by performing another procedure with the adhesiolysis!! When they do a "
>diagnostic " procedure ( which is their way of being able to perform an
>adhesiolysis only ) they get paid very low rates for their time...and
>adhesions take most Dr's do the 1.5 - 2 hour adhesiolysis and
>then close you up or take out an organ or do a resection etc.!! Not only
>will they not do a good job, but the hospital will not allow any more
>time for one as the money paid from the insurance companies is not
>enough to compensate for the use of the operating room, the
>anesthesiologist's time, everyone loses, mostly the ARD
>- - - - - - -
>I want to share the experience I had following a diagnostic laparoscopy
>in 1997:
>After 27 years of seeing doctor after doctor after doctor...I finally
>found a gynecologist, who listened to me and sincerely believed that I
>was suffering from chronic pain. He told me that, from the description
>I gave him about my symptoms, to him my symptoms sounded like either
>adhesions or endometriosis...but he felt pretty sure that adhesions were
>the cause of my pain. He told me that only a diagnostic laparoscopy
>would provide the answer. This was the very first time I had ever been
>offered a diagnostic laparoscopy!!!
>So on August 1, 1997 I was scheduled for Same Day Surgery at a hospital
>in Minneapolis, MN. At the very beginning of this surgical procedure,
>my gynecologist had great difficulty in inserting the laparoscope
>through my navel, the usual first point of entry. Instead, he had to
>start the procedure just above the pubic bone.
>What was the result of my diagnostic laparoscopy? I had massive
>adhesions the full length ( 7 inches ) and 4 inches across the surgical
>incision from the laparotomy I had undegone in February 1970!! These
>massive adhesions had attached my omentum ( The omentum serves as a
>protective barrier between the intestines and the abdominal wall. ) to
>my abdominal wall...almost as if my omentum had been super-glued to my
>abdominal wall!!!
>I requested a copy of the video of my surgery; which really proved what
>my surgeon was up against. I watched the video and I was able to see
>the difficulty my surgeon was up against. Remember, this was a
>diagnostic laparoscopy...and he had to lyse these tough adhesions ( They
>were very mature because they were 27+ years old! ) before he could
>begin his examination of the rest of my pelvic organs.
>As he cut through these adhesions with the use of scissors ( which cut
>and cauterize at the same time ) I noticed that as a result of the
>cauterizing, the liquidized fat dripped into the pelvic cavity. I do
>not know if this substance is irritating to the pelvic organs;
>BUT...just before the surgeon freed the adhesions from my abdominal
>wall, I saw a really thick adhesion, which had a blood vessel running
>through it. When he cut through it, I noticed that it bled...causing
>blood to drip into my pelvic cavity. Blood is a known irritant, which
>can cause scar tissue or adhesions to develop.
>Because of the massive adhesions, I was kept in the hospital
>overnight...on intravenous antibiotics and pain medication. Other than
>the expected pain from surgery, I definitely felt better than I had in a
>long, long time ( 27 years ). I had such great hopes that I would be
>pain-free......UNTIL on the 10th day I began to feel the return of pain;
>but I did not get too concerned about it. Six weeks post-op I mentioned
>this to my gynecologist...but he did not show any real concern. Not
>being a very assertive person, I did not make an issue out of it...
>...until several weeks later when my pain level was beginning to get out
>of hand. Since I lived at some distance from Minneapolis, I wrote to my
>gynecologist to ask what he would suggest that I do...actually thinking
>that I would be given an appointment date. Two weeks later I received a
>call from one of his office nurses. She said, " No, the doctor did not
>want to see me!!" I asked if I could make an appointment...but again she
>said that the doctor did not want to see me. I was shattered!!!!!!!!!!!
>I could not understand why this gynecologist wouldn't see me.
>It took me almost 6 months to find out why I had been refused further
>care from this gynecologist!!! During those 6 months I spent alot of
>time on the Internet...participating in the Endometriosis Forum (
> ); because I needed a place where I could
>vent some of the frustrations and feelings that had come over me as a
>result of being denied care by my gynecologist. It was through this
>forum, that I learned the answer to the "cold shoulder" I had been given
>by my gynecologist's nurse ( who was acting in behalf of my
>This is what I learned: Because I am a Medicare patient - with
>supplementary insurance. Medicare did not pay
>what my gynecologist was asking!!! My gynecologist had to accept what
>Medicare and my supplementary insurance paid him...and then my
>gynecologist had to " write-off " the
>balance. In other words he did a difficult surgery but was not paid
>adequately!! I know that the same thing happened for both the hospital
>and the anesthesiologist - both had to be satisfied with what Medicare
>paid them. Neither the gynecologist, the hospital, nor the
>anesthesiologist could bill me for the unpaid balance!!!
>Another thing I learned was that there are certain hospitals in the
>United States which WILL NOT ACCEPT MEDICARE PATIENTS!!! That's right!!!
>The low payments, which Medicare reimburses doctors and hospitals with,
>is intended as Medicare's way of protecting seniors from excessive
>medical charges...which , unfortunately, prevents seniors from seeking
>the very best professional care.
>So I can understand why many doctors do not do diagnostic
>procedures...but rather look and wait for another better-paying surgical
>procedure to arise.....SUCH AS HYSTERECTOMIES...and many hysterectomies
>I read an interesting book by the name of " Women and Doctors "...which
>was written by a male gynecologist. What I found really surprising was
>that this male gynecologist was actually advising women to seek medical
>care from female gynecologists...rather than from male gynecologists.
>His reasoning is that female gynecologists understand women and their
>medical problems far better than male gynecologists do. When in the
>care of a female gynecologist, women can avoid certain male
>gynecologists who may "prey" on women by suggesting surgical procedures,
>such as hysterectomies, when a hysterectomy is not warranted at all.
>Don't let this happen to you!! Learn as much as you can a medical
>problem, which you may have; and consider seeking second opinions before
>undergoing the knife!!
>" Now, by asking for the $3000 up front in Scranton, this assures that
>in the event the insurance company doesn't pay for a lengthy
>adhesiolysis procedure if your very involved with adhesions and the
>surgery takes 4 - 10 hours, and trust me, they will not pay for
>that...then DR. Redan, or Dr. Reich have at least been compensated for
>their time, skill and expertise in lysing adhesions. If your surgery is
>within a " normal " range of time, and all the pre-payment is not
>utilized, you get all or some of it back. I had a 5 hour surgery, and
>was refunded a decent portion of it after my surgery! The $400
>consultation fee is just what you pay for the experienced specialist if
>you want them. A person wouldn't think twice if you were talking open
>heart would go to and pay for the best Dr. in the world
>if it meant your life, right...well this is your life too, it is just
>that it is under-rated as a problem unless you're the victim of ARD
>(Adhesion-Related Disease)!! Money spent is scary, sure, but money is
>nothing without the life to spend it on!"


Just wanted to say that something written in the beginning of this post is not necessarily true. I had a second laparoscopy for nothing more than adhesiolysis, no other procedure was anticipated or done. It was done by a general surgeon very experienced in laparoscopic surgical techniques . He went in knowing that I had significant adhesions (left by the first ob-gyn surgeon who did not feel they were responsible for my problems, he was probably right) and believed that they were responsible for the pain I was experiencing. (even though it appears he was wrong I respect him for his courage) Obviously he felt that adhesions do cause pain, otherwise he would not have done this laparoscopy as there was no other reason to do it. He also did it knowing what my insurance company would pay for the procedure.

Chris S.

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