letter to doctor?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 1/11/2011 5:10 PM (GMT -6)   
This may be a odd question, but has anyone written a letter to a doctor , requesting the doctors for treatment?  I have this doctor in mind I would like to get my husband into for robotic surgery.  Long story, due to insurance. He is available through the hospital clinic. but when we persude this direction , we were told the surgery would be performed between one of the 3 surgeons, There is only the one I would like to have him see. Trouble is starting the letter to the doctor asking for his help /thanks

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 657
   Posted 1/11/2011 5:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, by all means do so. You may be surprised that you get a quick response. That is how I found the oncologist who did my brachy. It is also how I ruled out having surgery from one of the 'big names'. But nonethelss, I did have a running correspondence with both via email.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 528
   Posted 1/11/2011 6:58 PM (GMT -6)   
"starting the letter to the doctor asking for his help /thanks"

Dear Dr. Jones,

My husband and I need your help. He has been diagnosed xxxxxxxxxx. We have decided that Da Vinci robotic surgery is his best course of treatment, but when we've contacted the xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Clinic, we were told xxxxxxxxxxx. Please advise how we can be assured that you will be his surgeon, as opposed to one of the other doctors in the clinic.

{Doctors (and in my experience, especially surgeons) have enormous egos. Don't you think he'll be happier than a pig in shxt reading that from you?}

anxiety out the roof
Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 111
   Posted 1/11/2011 7:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I found the doc I wanted and called for an appt. He is one of the top at Johns Hopkins. He assured me he would do my surgery. Go and write- better call. It worked for me.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 1/11/2011 7:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the replies. I will write the letter and cross my fingers. I will address the letter " confidential"? and hopefully he will get it . I wish I had a e-mail address to I would try that,but I have had no luck on finding a email

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 3892
   Posted 1/11/2011 7:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Gordy is right on the money..These guys CRAVE letters like that...Work their egos and you will get what you need...

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 1/11/2011 7:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Go for it, I have written my share of letters to particular doctors, it usually works real well for me.
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos marg
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06 11/10 Not taking it
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/23/10

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 528
   Posted 1/11/2011 8:00 PM (GMT -6)   
E-mails are hard to find. At first office visit I take several of doc's business cards. If his e-maill addy isn't on it, the script goes: "Is there an e-mail address I can use to reach you? I promise not to abuse it" Works every time. But keep your word.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 1/11/2011 8:04 PM (GMT -6)   
persistance pays off, I found the email. first tried the hospital he was affiliated with , then the private practice with his name . then googled the email and it pulled up a article he wrote, ya! now we will see if I get a response. Plus I will mail a copy of the letter. fingers crossed

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 1/12/2011 10:23 AM (GMT -6)   
There is nothing wrong with asking for the specific doctor you feel most comfortable with.

I had my doctor sign that he, and only he (barring an emergency during the surgery) would perform the surgery (i.e. no trainees). He had no problem with this at all. If he did, it would have caused me to pause...
age 52
RALP 10/08
One nerve spared
Gleason 7
Pre op PSA 8.2 -- first PSA ever taken on age 50 physical
Post op PSA's <0.01
Most recent PSA 0.02 (12/10)

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 1/14/2011 4:56 PM (GMT -6)   
It worked!!! I actually got a response from the email. Thats the good news. Sad part is insurance rules again. As mentioned before, our insurance is not that good,mostly teaching hospitals and clinics .Here are our choices. My husband is really favoring the robotic over OP.
1. Uconn hospital with OP with a skilled experinced surgeon, very hard to get through on the phone lines, hard to reach a real person ( all day type) scheduled appointments you will wait at least a xtra hour.
2.Hartford hospital robotic, with a resident overseen by Dr Wagner ( very highly skill doctor, been performing robotic for many years), pre op, and follow up handled at the clinic. ( the clinic is very hard to reach, but not as bad as uconn )I need to find out who handles the aftercare on that.
3. st francis hospital, robotic, skilled surgeon, ( just not a big fan of the hospital)


Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1152
   Posted 1/15/2011 3:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Klains,

My thought would not to be to go for option 2). I know doctors have to practice their skills on someone but in the case of prostate surgery where the stakes are so high in terms of cure and long term incontinance, I think its better that they don't practice on your husband.

In choosing between 1) and 3) I would pick the surgeon with the most experience/best outcomes with the type of surgery you prefer (robotic). The hospital, bedside manner of the doctor and the degree of difficulty in seeing the doctor are short term issues that you are likely to forget in the long term - what will stay with you is the quality of the operation. This is of course assuming that the hospital meets basic standards of pre and post op care.

Husband's age: 52. Sydney Australia.
Family history: Mat. grandfather died of PC at 72. Mat. uncle died of PC at 60. He has hereditary PC.
PSA: Aug07 - 2.5|Feb08 - 1.7|Oct09 - 3.67 (free PSA 27%)|Feb10 - 4.03 (free PSA 31%) |Jun10 - 2.69. DRE normal.
Biopsy 28Apr10: negative for a diagnosis of PC however 3 focal ASAPs “atypical, suspicious but not diagnostic” for PC. Review of biopsy by experienced pathologist, 1/12 core: 10% 3+3 (left transitional), 1/12 core: ASAP (left apex)
Nerve sparing RP, 20Aug10 with Dr Stricker. Post-op path: 3+4 (ISUP 2005). Neg (margins, seminal vesicles, extraprostatic extension). Multifocal, with main involvement in the fibro-muscular zone. T2C.
Post RP PSA,
Lab 1: Sep10 – 0.02|Nov10 – 0.03|Dec10 – 0.03
Lab 2: Nov 10 - 0.01|Dec10 – 0.01

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 1/15/2011 1:37 PM (GMT -6)   

The only caution I have is Timing.

I wanted Dr Angermeir in Cleveland Clinic and first appointment which was made was with him but I had to cancel due to timing after previous procedure and healing.

I could have had him do my next procedure AUS but it would have been Mar or April and it was Dec when I went in for my consul.

I am having a Dr Montague who is Director of Urological Surgery and Professor of Surgery with Incontinence and Urological Strictures do my surgery 1.21

Depending who you want, the hospital and how long to wait, you may need to review several good surgeon.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 314
   Posted 1/15/2011 2:57 PM (GMT -6)   
My advice is to pick the best surgeon. The follow-up and the hospital are a distant second and third, respectively.

I had a very good surgeon, a terrible experience at the hospital, and a PA who was so bad that I stopped going to follow-up visits.

Yet two and a half years after surgery I am still benefitting from the surgeon's skill and experience (so far), and the hospital stay and the follow-ups are just bad but fading memories.

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