Anyone thinking of going to the Ottawa Hospital for gastric bypass surgery–think again!
Originally in 2009, I had been referred to Hamilton for the surgery. After waiting approximately a year, I heard more money was being allocated to the Ottawa hospital. I asked my family doctor to refer me there also, thinking that the first one that called I’d go to. That was February 2010.
In the meantime, when I called Hamilton to see where I was on the list I was told I was going to be the 3rd person on the list to be called to start the process. However, because of the new funds, their list was divided up according to the patient’s postal code. Consequently, my original referral was sent to Ottawa.
When I contacted Ottawa they told me the Hamilton people had been put at the bottom of their current list. My referral time with Ottawa started with my February 2010 referral.
Nov 26, 2010 I had my first meet and greet appointment in Ottawa. We were basically told about the programs available and were given a chance to decide if we wanted surgery or dietary management. I chose the surgery.
At that time I had been diagnosed with Endomitreal cancer and had a hysterectomy. Research shows that obesity is a contributing factor to this type of cancer.
All through the summer I kept going to Ottawa for their various appointments, some of which were unnecessary. I live just north of Kingston and Kingston has psychologists, dietitians, and blood labs. But Ottawa insisted that I come to THEIR psychologist, dietitian and blood lab.
After missing days at work and spending money on gas I couldn’t afford, at the end of August 2011 I FINALLY met a surgeon. Thinking I was almost at the end of my journey, I paid $300 (approx) for the Optifast that Ottawa INSISTS their patients take for 3 weeks before surgery.
At this meeting she decided I needed a heart test that could only be done in a few places (Ottawa being the closest). She also insisted I have a colonoscopy.
I refused to go to Ottawa for the heart test (I was under the impression it would entail going there two days in a row). After calling the patient advocate I was told I could have a MIBI done in Kingston (which I was trying to have as much done here as possible in the first place!).
My heart tested fine and I got the ‘all clear’ from the Kingston cardiologist.
Next was a colonoscopy. That was done in Smith Falls at the end of September. A polyp was found, but it was NOT cancerous. The surgeon who did the colonoscopy indicated to me that it should not interfere with the bypass. A referral is being made to have it taken out in Kingston.
HOWEVER, NOW Ottawa is requesting that it be done before they give me a date for the bypass. It’s not that I won’t have the polyp removed – it can be done AFTER the bypass. I’ve been told wait times are quite long in Kingston for this procedure.
I have jumped through all of their hoops, lost time at work, lost money on gas, put off needed dental work and glasses in case I got a date for surgery and ended up short financially.
These tests should have been mentioned earlier in the process so the wait time isn’t dragged out. My life has virtually been on hold for at least 2 years. I work part-time and have two employers waiting to find out when I’ll be off work so they can cover my hours.
Ottawa is so worried about a patient becoming depressed after surgery – what they are doing and have done to me is worse in my opinion.
Currently I am waiting to hear what the patient advocate can do for me. If I had the money I’d go elsewhere FAST!
This is an overview of the way I’ve been treated at the Ottawa Hospital Bariatric Clinic. In my opinion, I wouldn’t refer ANYONE there. They seem more worried about people coming there for the appointments (remember, every time you walk in the door they get paid from OHIP).
While waiting to hear from the patient advocate, I’m also looking into other options.
Bottom line – if you go to Ottawa – don’t be surprised if you get multiple delays put in front of you.