Aug 02, 2012
Had lap band surgery with Dr. Irgau with Chrias. During surgery they found I had a hiatal hernia which the previous scoping did not find. They repaired it and did the band anyway even though most surgeons would abort the banding to allow it to heal. When I woke up a friend of mine was waiting in my room for me and told me that Dr. Irgau told her about how the surgery went and the Hernia. I never gave the doctor permission to release my medical info to my friend and this was a clear violation of Hippa. The next day Dr.Irgau came to the hospital to check on me and never mentioned the Hernia. After being released my friend told me about the Hernia again and I called Dr. Irgau and he confirmed it.
After 3 years under Dr.Irgau’s care I have experienced an obstruction and reflux other than that no other medical issue’s related to the band. Dr. Irgau was extremely poor at returning my phone calls over a 3 year period. Office visit’s always had a very long wait 45 or more to see the doctor. IN fact, I found the entire practice was under staffed and poorly run. Their phone system never worked right and often was hung up on with no return calls back. I found one person there Cathy who was fabulous do deal with because she always followed back up with me unlike any other member of the staff.
I spoke to Dr. Irgau about I was not happy with the results of the Band. He recommended Bypass surgery or sleeve surgery and advised I could have either. He printed out paperwork for pulmonary and life skill class and advised that was all I needed to get Insurance approval. His nurse then advised him that I would need Cardio and other clearances like pysch etc, he again advised she was wrong.
Then I spoke with a member of Chrias’s and was advised that the Dr’s have no clue what is needed for insurance submittal and I would have to do all the rest of the clearances that the Dr advised I didn’t need. The employee also advised I could not have Sleeve because of my insurance BMI requirement.
I called and left messages for Dr. Irgua to call me so I could clear this up and never got a single call back. I then made an appointment and went in to see Dr. Irgau. I explained what has gone on and how I was unhappy with how he gave me incorrect information and didn’t return my calls for over a week. He then started yelling at me that “I obviously don’t trust him and he is dropping me as a patient because of this” and that “he does not need to explain himself to me”.
I then went to speak with Dr. Wynn (Chrias), who took me on as her patient. After I explained what went on, Dr.Wynn advised me that Dr.Irgua had been on vacation for the past week and was unaware of all the complaints they have gotten over the same issue’s I had brought up and that my experience would be different with her.
After getting psych, cardio and pulmonary clearance, I was through the first class of life skills when I decided to attend a support group meeting. The support group meeting is supposedly run by members and only attended by members. I spoke with Elissa prior to the meeting about this. I was nervous about doing a revision to a bypass and wanted to speak with other patients.
I showed up to the meeting to find out that the PMRI Director Kim Tran, set up a photo shoot without the knowledge of the support group members for marketing purposes and she thought it was ok for her to do this during the support group time. 4 members and I walked out disgusted at the notion, because this was a member run group and not run by Chrias or PMRI. Both groups had previously had their own support groups and failed because how they ran things and ELissa’s support group has been the only successful support group for this area. The 5 of us were amazed that this happened and spoke about it in the hallway. One of them advised “it was the same as if you brought a cop to an AA meeting”, which me all agreed on.
As I was leaving I spoke to a PMRI employee and was assured that this was completely last minute. The employee who will remain nameless, I will call Mrs. Smith had a lengthy conversation with me about my opinion of the program and what they could do better. After wards, several other employee’s / patients advised that things seemed to be run like a concentration camp.
I get a call from Dr.Wynn who advised she got an email from PMRI stating that basically I was unhappy with their program and that basically they didn’t want me in the program any further. Dr. Wynn advised that I need to basically cut them slake and keep my opinion’s to myself and if I was unhappy I could go to a different practice.
I then called Kim Tran who at first advised PMRI never wrote such an email but was very elusive about the entire situation and the email came from Dr.Wynn. Kim Tran then later admitted that PMRI did right the email but she would not tell me what it said or what has been said. She then told me that since Dr. Wynn dropped me as a patient I was not able to complete the life-skills class and to not show up to the class any further. I advised Kim Tran that Dr. Wynn did not drop me as a patient. Kim Tran then advised me that is not what Dr.Wynn told her and that Dr. Wynn would need to contact her for me to be allowed to finish the life skill class. I was 1 class away and final PMRI clearance and 2 weeks from surgery date. She also advised me that the support group is run by PMRI which is why they meet at the hospital.
I then contacted Dr.Wynn and left a message. Now, I know that Dr. Wynn was at the hospital that day so after I thought about it further I had had enough of this and felt that since PMRI asked me my opinion they should not have used it against me and should have spoken to me about my opinion and not my surgeon, secondly I felt that I was lied to about who sent the email and did not feel that I trusted the PMRI / Chrias staff which lead me to no longer want to be a part of this entire program. I called several other bariatric practices regarding how there program works and found one that agreed with my views. I was actually shocked how much better there program is run and how their doctor gives you his cell phone number.
I then called Kim Tran and advised I wanted complete copies of my records and she acted like she was shocked that I was not going to participate in PMRI’s program. I then called CHRIAS and was advised by several staff members that Dr.Wynn did not drop me as a patient and they would have copies of my entire record ready for me.
Dr.Wynn and I spoke and she told me Kim Tran called her and advised “I willingly called her and told her I was done with CHRIAS and PMRI and that I told her I was dropping Dr.Wynn as my surgeon and that I didn’t want to participate in the Chrias/PMRI program because I was switching to a new Bariatric Practice”. Guess she forgot to mention she forced me. When I brought it up, Dr. Wynn didn’t care to discuss it, she just said “Maybe it’s for the best”.
My opinion as a patient was right that the doctor’s don’t care. That they won’t fight for you as their patient, and that the opinion of a Director is more valuable than a patient. It was very clear that a Director wanted me out of the program because I questioned why things were being taught a certain way and why it seems like it’s marketing / PR project and all about the money now. I questioned why people were not taught more on what to expect after surgery and why people are only taught about products that PMRI and CHRIAS sell, I questioned why you have to use OPTIFAST instead of a liquid diet because the research doesn’t support it, I questioned what I didn’t understand and a certain Director obviously didn’t like what I had to say or ask, so this Director used her power to remove me from the program and my surgeon didn’t even care.
After meeting with my new surgeon’s office, they agreed with everything I questioned and didn’t understand.
1.) You don’t have to use opti-fast prior to surgery that it’s a liquid diet that is needed, broth, jello, myoplex etc.. Which is sufficient not some market up prescription meal replacement that the surgeon’s office makes money off of.
2.) The Life-Skill class is part of PMRI program and not a requirement of Insurance, which is why I had to pay for the class out of pocket. They do nutrition/dietician as 1 on 1 instead of group.
3.) They also have separate support groups a Pre-Op group and a Post-Op Group which they want every patients feedback and refuse to use that information against a patient.
4.) They also recheck all your clearances stuff the day of surgery. EKG, Blood work etc.. to ensure a successful surgery, since you could develop a issue after your clearance and before surgery.
5.) They train you on the different types of protein and supplments not just one particular brand that the surgeons office sells and marks up.
6.) Also this is the difference that I noticed:
1.) Every staff member is a bariatric trained person even the receptionist; they don’t do anything else and have everything in one place. Your surgery is even done there.
2.) The whole facility is designed to be all inclusive; on site cardio doctors, pulmonary doctors, dieticians, nutritionists, nurses, surgery center, Psychologist’s, etc….
3.) The facility is designed for bariatric only. The nurses are not hospital nurses that took a course in bariatric, they are nurses that all they do is bariatric’s.
4.) The facility is adequately staffed, since every time I called and left a message I always got a call back with 15 min’s.
5.) When you ask a member to speak with them in private they actually do and provide you with a wealth of knowledge and if they don’t know the answer they find out.
6.) The doctor promotes his patients to use Obesityhelp.com to provide all there feedback on their practice