Hopefully you have been able to reach someone knowlegeable and reasurring in the urology department at UT Southwestern this morning. There certainly is a big difference in doctors who have performed surgeries regularly and in a less invasive type manner. Don't worry about having to act in haste for this surgery as that cancer has been there for some time already. The doctor who was orginally scheduled to remove my husbands kidney was going to do open surgery which required breaking his rib first and cutting him open. His recuperation time was stated as 3 to 4 weeks. That doctor did not do laporascopic surgery and tried to dissuade us from going that route. We cancelled the surgery, went to UT Southwestern for CT Scans and confirmation of the kidney cancer and to learn if it had spread anywhere else. Hopefully your dad has had CT scans to determine the extent of his cancer. We then scheduled the laporascopic surgery 2 weeks later. There is no "cutting open" in laporascopic but rather 3 small holes where the instruments are inserted. When he came out of surgery, there were three very small round bandanges just below his belly button area. He was out of the hospital the next day. He was fully recuperated in 3 days. SO WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT is the post op recovery period for your dad. A surgeon who has not done many bladder type surgeries or does not do laporascopic surgery is "big difference" you can tell your dad. Also everyone who has been invovled in cancer states the best place for surgery and treatment with a doctor at a University affliated medical center. Is your dad's present doctor at a University affiliated medical center? UT Southwestern is such a center.
Thanks to you all for the help and advice. I'm just not sure how to approach my father with a request that he see someone new. He thinks all is settled and he will have the surgery with the guy we know little about (except that he is a poor communicator and his office staff aren't nice). Dad will most likely say that we don't know anything about the doctors at SW Medical either, so what's the difference and time is of the essence.
I am going to call SW Medical Center tomorrow morning and perhaps someone there will be able to give me some guidance. The thought of starting over again with diagnosis etc. is not appealing, but I do want my father to have the best surgeon there is to do this huge operation. How awful would it be if, by putting off the surgery to see yet another doctor, we wait too long and this horrendous disease spreads? I would certainly blame myself for that since all this is my idea.
Any thoughts on how to approach him with my idea of going elsewhere for care?
There are two options "patient appointment request" and provider referra reqest/ on this link. Or call the department direct on Monday for doctor referral. http://www.utsouthwestern.edu/utsw/home/pc/appt/index.html
Harley girl, Your dad need not go the MD Anderson in Houston to get state of the art urological surgery. I was treated at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX at the Saey Cancer center. The head of the department there, Dr. Arhur Saglowsky is on the medical advisory board of BCAN - bladder cancer advocacy network the entire staff there are impressive specialist in urological cancers. They also have the DaVinci robotic for laporascopic bladder surgery. Here is the contact information. My husband also had laporascopic kidney removal there.