Is Your Surgeon Licensed? Are You Sure?

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The mug seen in the poster is the surgeon that nearly cost me my life, Karl Hagen.  This rant is not intended as simply a personal attack on a single surgeon, but I am using his story as an example of a very real problem that could affect you or your family.  Until recently, I was not aware that a doctor or surgeon who has had their license revoked in one state can move their practice to another state and legally begin a new practice.  The biggest mystery to me is why any state medical board would want to license a doctor that another state has deemed unfit to practice medicine.  This is what the state of Florida granted to Karl Hagen – and this is not an isolated or rare case.  I was shocked to discover that this is a quite common occurrence and it is not unique to Florida.

At first glance, this may not seem like as frightening of a prospect as it actually is, because any responsible person will do extensive research on their doctors and surgeons before submitting themselves for treatment.  Prior offenses and reprimands on medical professionals are of public record and easily searchable through websites like HealthGrades.com.  Most of us are not going to consider the fact that we may require emergency medical treatment at some point in our life and not be afforded the luxury of time necessary to research or seek recommendations for our doctors. Not all surgeries or treatments are scheduled.

I was admitted to South Lake Hospital for a simple blood transfusion and never thought that I may require surgery.  I would have never went to a rural hospital for surgery.  By the time I was taken in for surgery, I had been unconscious for more than 48 hours.  Many patients are rushed into emergency rooms everyday needing immediate treatment.  We all would hope that if we we’re in need of emergency medical treatment or surgery, that the nearest hospital we were taken to would not have doctors on call that have had their licenses revoked in other states.  After all, ER doctors and surgeons are the one doctor that the patient will not have the opportunity to conduct a background check on before ending up under their knives.

In an emergency situation, you could find your life in the hands of a doctor that was determined to be unqualified to practice medicine in another state, as was the case with Karl Hagen.  To make matters worse, not only do hospitals hire these doctors, but they are not required to inform the patient, nor their family of the fact that an unlicensed doctor is about to begin invasive procedures on their loved ones.  Karl Hagen’s dismal record as a surgeon is of public record and can be verified here.  In addition to several blunders, some of which cost the patients their life, he also had his license to practice medicine in California revoked on July 29, 2009.  He operated on me on September 20, 2009, just two months later.  At the time he was about to operate on me, my wife did a quick research of his credentials, but at that time all the information listed for Karl Hagen was reported as “pending”.  The record that exists now on-line, including the revocation of his license, did not appear until over a year later.  South Lake Hospital certainly knew of his problems, because his case had been decided and the Florida State reprimand and California revocation of his license had all transpired months before he operated on me.

I am not sure whether Hagen ever practiced in California.  His online profiles always list both states, Florida and California as where he is licensed to practice.  HealthGrades.com still lists him as being licensed in California and Florida here – even though he is no longer licensed in that state.  His license in California was revoked in 2009, but as far as I can tell, it was based on reprimands he received while practicing in Florida.  He has a long history of medical reprimands and did settle for $300,000.00 in a case which cost the patient their life.  This seems a rather low amount of compensation for the loss of one’s life, but seems common in the world of malpractice law.  If a pharmaceutical company injures or kills a person, the financial damages can be staggering – usually in the millions, but as I have mentioned many times before, doctors are awarded special protection under the law that no other professional enjoys.

In the first account brought against Doctor (and I use that term loosely, because California no longer considers him a doctor) Karl Hagen in 2006, he failed to examine the x-ray for a woman who was scheduled to have a chest tube placed.  The excuse given for this blunder reads like a gag from a bad sitcom.  According to the public record, a doctor told the nurse to schedule the operation for a chest tube to be place.  The nurse asked the doctor if it was to be placed on the left side and the doctor replied “right”, indicating that it was to be placed on the right side.  The nurse assumed the doctor was saying “right” in agreement with her and therefore prepped the left side for the surgery.  The detailed legal account of this case can be found here and included a $5,000.00 fine – considerably less than the payment he received for the service, I’m sure.

Yes, it was an error in communication between the doctor and nurse – sort of an Abbott and Costello type deal – and might be a riot in a comedy routine, but is not very amusing when a patient’s life is in jeopardy.  Karl Hagen was reprimanded and punished by the state of Florida because he failed to check the x-ray himself.  But, even less excusable was the fact that the patient already had several chest tubes placed on the right side that had been ineffective.

So Karl Hagen is presented a patient who has several scars on her right side from prior chest tubes and still decides to place the new one on the left – you would think that the scars on the right side would have been a signal for him to examine the x-rays.  The patient did eventually die, but I’m not sure whether his error contributed to her death or not.  The punishment for this critical error was “education” – sort of like those courses you have to take after getting a traffic ticket.  That’ll teach him a lesson!   Do you feel more comfortable letting this guy open you up now, knowing he took those courses?   At this point, California still considered him licensed in their state and he continued to practice in Florida.

His worst sanction came from another deadly mistake and was very similar to the error he made on me.  He operated on a man who suffered from diverticulitis, which is a bulging pocket in the colon that becomes impacted and infected.  He was to resect that portion of the colon, which is the proper procedure for diverticulitis, and to then form a stoma for a colostomy – again, all typical treatment for this illness.  Hagen obviously has a bad habit of not thoroughly checking the viability of the tissue when resecting bowels.  He failed to send the material to pathology and instead discarded it.  This caused a 17 hour delay in surgery when the necrotic tissue he left inside the patient caused a systemic infection which ultimately led to the death of the patient.  The detailed legal account of this malpractice can be found here.

When I read that report, it was like deja vu and sent chills down my spine.   Hagen had repeated this error while operating on me.  We had to obtain all of the medical records to provide to the transplant surgeons in Miami in order to qualify for an intestinal transplant.  Going over Karl Hagen’s surgical notes, he records that the section of jejunum, that he was forming into the stoma, appeared to be compromised and yet he used it and never sent a sample of the tissue to pathology to see if it was viable.  To make matters worse, he even wrote in his surgical notes that the compromised tissue could result in a high morbidity and mortality (notes that he thought I would never see).

Over the next five days, the stoma continued to darken in a manner referred to by doctors as a “dusky” appearance.  The Attending Doctors were concerned about this and continued to consult with Hagen, but he refused to take the time to examine it.  He also insisted it was fine and would begin to turn pink as blood began circulating to it.  On the contrary, it continued to darken each day and became less and less active.  The doctors of South Lake Hospital played a dangerous waiting game and refused to send me for an MRI, because the hospital’s only MRI machine was located in small building across the parking lot and it would be very difficult to transport me with all of the IV pumps I was attached to.

I was literally dying from the three feet of necrotic bowels left inside of me and these doctors did not want to make the extra effort to move me to the equipment necessary, because for some strange reason they had it housed in a building over fifty yards from the hospital.  By the time they decided that my condition was becoming too critical to ignore any further (four days) they did transport me to the machine.

Luckily for me, the MRI revealed what appeared to be a partial occlusion of the mesenteric artery (the artery that supplies blood to the intestines).  Why do I say lucky?  Because this hospital was not equipped for vascular surgery, so the decision had to finally be made to transfer me to a better equipped hospital.  Even at this point, Karl Hagen was still maintaining that the stoma was fine and continued to ignore the problem.  Hagen was quite clear about his position to my family.  He personally felt that I would have such a horrible quality of life if I lost that last three feet of intestines that I may be better off dead.  He had obviously decided to himself to spare me the suffering and just let me die if the stoma did not come back to life on its own.  This is not his decision to make.  All of the other attending doctors were in agreement with Hagen, because they didn’t know that intestinal transplants were possible. I really believe they transported me to the other hospital so I would die there, rather than at their hospital.

I arrived at the trauma hospital in Orlando, where I was prepped for the vascular procedure.  The vascular surgeon hoped that after the clot removal that the stoma would begin to brighten up, once the blood flow was improved.  He removed the occlusion and watched me closely over the next couple of hours really expecting the stoma to come back to life.  By this time the stoma was nearly black in color.  They left me alone for a couple of hours and I was in the room alone.  It was during that time when I began to have seizures.  There is a bit of missing time during the seizure, because the last thing I remember was a large oxygen mask being pulled off of my face and the room was suddenly filled with doctors, including the vascular surgeon.

At this point the vascular surgeon immediately called Karl Hagen to have him come over and examine the stoma and consult them on what actions needed to be taken.  Hagen felt no need to make the twenty-minute trip to Orlando.  He determined over the phone that the seizures were unrelated to the black stoma and that they needed to just wait another day or so for the blood to get to the stoma and I would be fine.   It is certain that Karl Hagen was going to play the waiting game until I died, had I remained at that hospital.  You would think that after all the patients he had lost in the past by leaving necrotic tissue inside, he would not continue to make the same dumb-ass mistake – but he’s obviously quite a dumb-ass and doesn’t learn from his past mistakes.

My wife asked the vascular surgeon to take action and he said something about me being Hagen’s patient and it would be wrong protocol for him to intervene.  He must have used the word, territory, because the last thing I can clearly remember was my wife loudly proclaiming to the vascular surgeon that; “He isn’t anyone’s territory, he’s my husband!”.  Then she added; “Can you just sit here and watch him die?”.   He contacted the trauma surgeon who was on-call and assisted him in the an emergency surgery, because I was in septic shock by that time.

Several weeks later I had to visit the trauma surgeon so he could examine the incision.  He actually told us that they had considered just closing me up and keeping me sedated until I died in the next couple of hours.  It was the vascular surgeon that convinced him to go on with the long hard operation.  It took hours for them to irrigate and suction out all of the necrotic tissue that had turned to liquid and spread throughout my abdomen.  The vascular surgeon told us that it was only because of my age that they committed to the effort.

Because of just how critical the situation became, I know that had I not been transferred to the Orlando hospital my fate would have been death, because Karl Hagen would never had made the effort.  This was the only difference between me and the other patient who had died several months earlier under Hagen’s care.  Karl Hagen is still practicing medicine somewhere and I have no idea how many people he will have to kill before he loses his license to operate for good?

It was the incident with that other gentleman that ultimately caused Hagen to lose his license to practice in California.  The lawsuit, reprimand and revocation of his license had all transpired prior to my operation.  In other words, South Lake Hospital allowed a surgeon who had lost his license to practice in California to continue to practice and perform serious operations in their hospital.  I have stated his name many times in this article so that it may be found on any searches being done by any patient who may be under his care or considering him for a surgery.  I did not realize that this problem existed and I wonder how many people know this is possible.  I have since done research on this subject and have found that it is quite a large problem in this country.  If you were unaware of this problem (as I was) and believe it may only be a Florida problem, here are some articles on how common this occurs:

New York Times:  SOME ERRANT DOCTORS GET NEW U.S. FUNDS BY CHANGING STATES

WPTV.com:  DOCTORS LOSE LICENSE BUT STILL TREATING PATIENTS

FSBCT:  A FAILURE TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC

It seemed that there were a multitude of cases of doctors who had lost their license to practice in the state of New York that move their practice to Connecticut and continued treating patients.  I really cannot understand the logic used by any state medical board to grant a license to doctors who had their license revoked to practice medicine in another state.  If you have that many deadly mistakes in your career, maybe it’s time to seek a new one.

I cannot expect the federal government to forbid states to license doctors based on the decision of another state to revoke their license, but it would seem reasonable to demand that hospitals that allow a doctor to practice must have to make that information known to potential patients and be liable for any damage that doctor commits.  If a pack of cigarettes have to have warning information as to the danger they possess, then similar information should have to be provided for a dangerous doctor.   There are hundreds of patients rushed into emergency surgery everyday – many are unconscious and in critical condition.  How is it their responsibility to research the doctor or surgeon on-call at the hospital they are rushed to?  Is it too much to ask that hospitals not permit doctors with so many discipline problems administer to emergency or trauma cases?  Maybe they could be restricted to private practice or clinics where the patients are of sound mind and not in a rush for treatment.

At the point it was determined that I required surgery, my family wanted me transferred to a better equipped hospital in Orlando, but the doctors actually refused, even though they had a helicopter pad and are part of the Orlando Health system who pays to equip them with emergency transport equipment for just such occasions.  Time was not the motivating factor, because their on-call surgeon, Karl Hagen, was not available and they told my family that he had 24 hours to respond to the emergency page.  I would have actually gotten faster treatment had they shipped me to ORMC, where trauma surgeons are on-call 24-7.  The refusal to transport me was solely based on greed and pride.  Most doctors are far too arrogant to admit when a case is beyond their training and experience.

Most recently, we were told by an employee of South Lake Hospital, that Karl Hagen had been banned from practicing there further.  Though I cannot verify her reason for his dismissal, the employee told us that it had something do with an alcohol abuse problem.  Why in the hell would South Lake Hospital allow such a surgeon to work out of their hospital?  When you allow a doctor, who a major state like California decided was unfit to practice medicine, did you really believe he would achieve great things for your hospital?  So this hospital allowed this surgeon to perform such a risky surgery on me knowing his past malpractice record, the loss of his license to practice in California and that he had a drinking problem.  The most frightening part of this is that even though he has been removed from South Lake Hospital, he is still license to practice medicine in the state of Florida – if he loses his license in Florida anytime soon, he may move to another state and be practicing in a hospital near you.

If you think he is a unique case, you’d be wrong. Do a little research and it won’t take long to see that this is happening all over the U.S..   We wonder why the U.S. is ranked 37th in health care.  There are very talented people who become doctors and then there are people who were just not intended to be doctors, but become one anyway.  It’s kind of like those wannabe singers that turn up for auditions for American Idol and holler like a wounded moose – it makes you wonder what ever made them believe they were going to be the next singing sensation.  Maybe we need a Simon Cowell in the medical auditions.  Someone with the stones to tell an untalented doctor to get out of the business.

Some medical apologist posting as ‘Kathleen” left a comment over at Paleohacks.com in response to a link that someone had provided to my article “How Common Are Medical Errors”.  Her brilliant rebuttal was to point out that all of the mistakes made on me were simply because I was in Florida.  How much do you want to bet she works in the medical profession?   This is the exact “stick-your-head-in-the-sand” mentality that allows this type of thing to perpetuate.  Medical errors are the 3rd highest killer in the United States and this ignoramus wants us to believe that all of them happen only in Florida.

So if all the statistics concerning medical errors from Florida were removed, then the U.S. would magically leap to number one on the world stage.  Can someone really be so mentally blind?  I gave the national statistics in that article, yet her wishful thinking says “Yeah, but it’s much better where I live”.  No it’s not!   As a matter of fact, it could be much worse.  I’m sure that Florida has a very high hospital mortality rate compared to most states because they have more seniors as its populace.  After all, Florida is the place most people go to die.  Getting rid of Florida or avoiding treatment in Florida is not going to fix the problem, as this medical shill suggested.  It’s just another excuse to look the other way and why nothing is being done to fix the problem – because they refuse to see a problem.

Doctors losing their license in one state and moving to another to practice is actually becoming quite a common problem in the U.S. medical system and I believe that few people are aware of it.  It would seem to me that a license to practice medicine is a privilege, not a right.  Just because someone spent all the time and money in education to become a doctor should not mean that they are perpetually granted the right to practice, even after leaving a population of cadavers in their wake.

So many lives could be spared if some of these problems I have pointed out in this series were given more awareness.   The three main topics I would like to see made common knowledge are:

Colonoscopies injure and kill more people than they save. (as a matter of fact, your chance of being killed by a colonoscopy are 3 time greater than ever getting colon cancer)

Medical errors are the 3rd largest killer of humans in the U.S..  (you really have to question and research any and all treatments offered by doctors and are best to have a family member or close friend with you as a much as possible if you are hospitalized)

Doctors who lose their license in a U.S. state should not be able to work in emergency rooms or in any other manner where patients do not have the opportunity to do a background check prior to treatment.

The last topic in my series called “Medical Mayhem”, will address a very lethal problem in the medical systems that there is no hope of changing, but I will rant about it anyway.  It concerns “The Cynical Attitude Of Doctors Towards Patients”.   This attitude is where many of the following problems stem from.  Everything bad that happened to me was the result of a cynical approach by a doctor – and almost every doctor and more than half of the nurses had this very same cynical attitude.  I hope you will return to read it.


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8 Responses to Is Your Surgeon Licensed? Are You Sure?
  1. Monica Forte
    November 19, 2012 | 12:43 am

    I applaud your valiant effort!!! My youngest son Tony is 7yrs old , was born with Total Colonic Hirschsprung’s Disease where the diseased portion of bowel (all of large intestine and 1/3 of distal ileum of his small intestine) was removed to the disease. However what Dr’s thought was healthy enough intestine for him to have a “pull-thru” couldn’t be performed because although he had gangelion cells they do not function… Therefore 3 years ago out in Pittsburgh at the Children’s Hospital he is listed for a stomach as well as a full intestinal transplant and the longer he waits a liver as well. His story will now be featured as the Nat’l Campaign for awareness of Pediatric Transplantation with Gift of Life…. His older brother brothers’ Vinny 12 and Dominic 10 created a website to share his story while fundraising for his Special Needs Trust to help aid his lengthy recuperation and future medical needs that Medicaid will NOT cover. His website is www.aftft.com. God Bless as we’ll keep you in our thoughts and prayers and will do what we can to bring forth awareness, because like you …. Its our son’s and brothers’ life.

    • Wolverine
      November 19, 2012 | 7:10 am

      Dear Monica, thank you for writing and sharing Tony’s story. My wife and I met so many children that were having multivisceral transplants at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Though the pediatric transplants were kept on a different hospital floor than the adults, we met many of the families that were staying at the Transplant House across the street from the hospital.

      The children seem to recover a lot faster than the adults do, so I hope that Tony’s recovery is swift. Have the doctors placed him on Omegavin for the lipids, rather than the Intralipids? Adults cannot get access to Omegavin in the U.S., but children can. I believe that only children that have sustained liver damage from the Intralipid can receive the Omegavin. If your doctors have not told you about Omegavin, you can read some of these stories here:

      http://health.usnews.com/health-news/best-childrens-hospitals/articles/2008/05/29/thanks-to-fish-oil-shes-a-golden-girl-no-longer/comments

      To learn how it could spare his liver from more damage. The stupid FDA will not permit adults to receive Omegavin. The soy lobby has a lot of power in our government. You can also read more about it in a post I wrote entitled “The Truth About Soy“. it would be great if they could spare his native liver.

      I think it’s awesome that his brothers are so supportive and have done a wonderful job on the website. I would like to mention Tony’s story in a front page post, where it will get more attention and I can provide the link to his website. Please keep me informed on his progress.

      We met a young lady at Jackson Memorial who was born with much of her digestive tract damaged. She had received a seven organ multivisceral transplant when she was about Tony’s age. When we met her she was 18 years old and was about to graduate high school. The procedures and medication are even more improved now than when she was eight years old, so remain hopeful for Tony to have a fairly normal life after the transplant.

      Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help. If you have any questions, I am always willing to give you an honest answer. Is Tony going to get his transplant at the University of Pittsburgh? If so, they have been doing intestinal and multivisceral transplants longer than any other hospital (they were the first to have success at it) and have one of the highest recovery rates.

      We will keep Tony in our thoughts and prayers.

  2. Mike Singleton
    April 19, 2014 | 3:44 pm

    I have 2 horror stories to relate regards incompetence by surgeons. The first was my neighbors wife, we were living in a small northern Alberta town, it had been “determined” that she required a hysterectomy and was operated on.

    She complained of pain in her right leg when she came around from the anesthetic, this continued for 3 days unresolved.

    She was finally transferred to a major Edmonton hospital where it was determined that the surgeon had mistakenly tied of an artery supplying blood to the right leg, blood flow was re-established but the lower part of her leg had become infected and she ended up with a below knee amputation.

    The hospital conveniently “lost the files” and the case was settled out of court for an un-disclosed sum.

    The second case is scarily similar to yours. My closest friend was admitted to hospital with a suspected inflamed appendix, when the surgeon operated he apparently found some severe infection and my friend ended up with a temporary colostomy to allow the intestines to recuperate.

    Now the horror story starts, six months later he was re-admitted to reverse the colostomy and reconnect his intestines to the anus.

    Immediately following the surgery he felt unwell and his blood pressure began to crash. Blood transfusion failed to correct the problem due to the severity of what was on internal blood loss. He was rushed back into surgery where a massive bleed was found and stopped.

    He did not do well following the surgery, vomiting blood and still needing continuous transfusions to maintain his blood pressure.

    It turned out that the massive loss of blood following the first surgery had resulted in damage to his stomach lining and bleeding.(Apparently a not uncommon event following massive blood loss and could have been prevented with medication).
    Another surgery, within four days of the first was performed to remove approximately one third of his stomach.

    Again he failed to respond and after another five days it was determined that during the surgery to remove part of his stomach his spleen had been damaged and was infected.

    Yet again back to surgery to have his spleen removed.

    A recovery then began, I knew he was getting better when I went to see him a few days after the last surgery and he was watching a McDonalds advertisement on the television and drooling despite the fact that he detested fast food.

    He came close to dying several times during this period of time and he told me he had made his peace and was ready to die. The frustration for me, and his wife, was the stonewalling and denial of any wrong doing by the surgeons, staff and administration of the hospital.

    Yes one knows that surgery is not risk free and unforeseen things can and do occur, but not with the rapidity to one person as this.

    I have had multiple surgeries, sinuses twice, herniated disc twice, knee replacement twice, cataract removal twice and major shoulder surgery.

    None of the surgeons involved will forget the interrogation they received from me before they were allowed to touch my body and they did not see the research I conducted before selecting them.

    Elective surgery research and research as though your life depended on it, it may.

    Emergency surgery, just hope you are in the right place.

    • Wolverine
      April 20, 2014 | 4:16 am

      Thanks Mike for the stories. A hospital is a scary place. Even based on ststistics, your odds are better in a warzone than in a hospital. I saw so many good people die and the most frightening part was that many of them died with less complications or less serious conditions than some of the things I suffered, so it’s impossible to determine why some people live and others don’t.

      I’m sorry to hear about what your friends suffered at the hands of our modern medical industry. I swear, there is a lot more luck in those that survive than any skill of the doctors. Even the doctors can’t explain how I am alive and credit a lot more to luck than anything they did. At least half of the other patients that we met died because of medical errors. Their deaths were completely avoidable.

      If someone ends up in the hospitals, it is best for them to understand that their survival will mostly rely on their own efforts. Those who throw all the responsibilty on the doctors and nurses and do not ask questions and trust implicitly in everyting that a doctor or nurse tells them, are the ones that usually didn’t survive.

      I may have been a pain in the ass, because I asked a lot of questions and even refuse many procedures that the doctors wanted to perform, but I am at least still alive. I am even more cynical now, but rightfully so. If I knew the things I know now, back when I first went into the hospital, I would have made a lot of decisions differently and been a lot better off.

      It’s nice when you have the benefit of chosing your surgeon ahead of time, which is why I believe that they should not allow surgeons who have lost their license, due to malpractice, to serve a the on-call surgeon for a hospital ER, because paitents in need of emergency surgery will not have the option of researching their surgeon. When I learned that the surgeon who botch my case in the ER had lost his license in California, I was extremey pissed and shocked that this is allowed. Something really needs to be done about that. Thanks again.

  3. Olive Kowalchuk Diamandopoulos
    February 10, 2015 | 6:22 pm

    I had a colonoscopy a month ago and now have pain where Dr. said I had a polyp, cut it, and lost the piece. Since, cannot have a bowel movement, and am asking where is the refuse going? Never had a problem before on moving refuse! Now, strange, thin sliver of refuse … No normal B.M. Just small sliver! Hot burning pain in right side…what’s going on?

    • Wolverine
      February 19, 2015 | 2:41 pm

      OMG Olive! I am so sorry I did not read this reply until now! My email server has been down for the last 2 weeks and I am only just now receiving my emails and notices. If you have not addressed this situation by this time, please delay no longer. Seek medical attention and if the doctors downplay your symptoms, find new doctors — do not trust their assessment — this nearly cost me my life and I was hospitalized at the time. I continued to complain of abdominal pain and the doctors continued to downplay the severity and continued to try to convince me it was just a little post-procedure discomfort, which they claimed was to be expected, but even then I knew that the pain was far to severe to be anything expected. Most doctors are cynical when it comes to patients and pain. They tend to always believe that patients are wanting attention or scamming for more pain-killers. This attitude costs many patients their lives.

      The pain I had was off-the-charts. So bad that I was literally asking someone to shoot me or hit me with a baseball bat because I could not take the pain one minute longer, yet the doctors still maintained that this was the type pain to be expected and posed no emergency. Of course, they were wrong and all of my bowels were dying. Even if they do CT imaging and claim that they see nothing, continue to press the issue until the problem has been corrected. They performed three different CT scans and claimed they saw no problems. CT scans, just like the colonoscopy itself is near useless as a diagnostic tool and cannot detect bowels that are dead and necrotic and far too often miss perforations. The doctors will claim that the absence of “free-air” proves there is not perforation, but this is false. “Free-air” will not always be detectable on x-rays or CT imaging and “free-air” does not have to always be present for all perforations.

      It is quite possible that your bowel has been perforated and the stool is leaking into the abdominal cavity. The burning pain that you feel could be the onset of peritonitis, which is the infection and inflammation of the abdominal wall and the membrane which houses the intestines — this can be a deadly condition if left untreated. The membrane and abdominal wall can swell and strangle the bowels. A bowel obstruction can be life threatening. It is important that there are bowel sounds. Just like your heart and lungs, your bowels can never stop moving, which is why doctors always listen to the sounds coming from the abdomen. If the bowels are making no sounds, it is an emergency situation.

      Bowel perforations can also cause blood clots to form in the mesenteric artery, which is the trunk line feeding blood to the intestines. Even a perforation in the colon can cause all of the bowels, both small and large to die as happened in my case. If the colon is losing large quantities of blood due to a perforation, the body will attempt to stop the bleeding by any means possible, which can often be a clot in the arteries feeding the bowels. I am very lucky to survive this condition, most people will not, so do not let them play games. The colon also houses billions of bacteria which are harmless within the organ, but can be deadly within the blood stream. These bacteria can also colonize inside the cavity and cause an abscess. There are so many life threatening condition that can arise from an injured colon, so please do not let the doctors ignore this pain.

      I hope you have received medical attention by now, but if not, please get help right away and please let me know how your condition is progressing at the first chance you feel well enough to write. Doctors do not like to admit that they injure people all of the time with these endoscopic procedures and will always deny any possibility of an injury when anyone complains of pain following an endoscopic procedure. They know if they delay long enough there is a chance that it will heal on its own, if the perforation is minor, and no one will ever be the wiser that they injured the patient. On the chance that the injury goes south, the longer they can delay, the more distance it places between the endoscopic procedure and the point something bad develops, thereby making it far more difficult to prove that the procedure caused the decline in health. They have this shit down to an art by now and how to cover their ass to avoid any legal action or a bad reputation for this procedure which is their main cash-cow. Your life is of little concern, certainly secondary to their practice — that’s for sure.

      You must take charge of your own health and do not, under any circumstances, allow them to assure you that there is not a problem if you know for well that there is something wrong. No matter how skilled doctors become at the con-game and unfortunately convince most people that they know more about your body than you do, this is pure nonsense. I have always found that the patient is right far more times than are the doctors and have seen many of my transplant friends suffer and die following one of the doctor’s reassuring pep talks to convoke them that there is nothing serious wrong with them. Never believe for one minute that a doctor’s career will not take precedence over your health — they have learned how to justify this to themselves, believing that one mistake should not ruin the career of such a brilliant doctors as themselves, when they can help so many people. This is one of the biggest problems in medicine today. Many doctors who practice are a menace and there should be a system of checks and balances to remove the bad ones from practicing, but unfortunately there is not such a system.

      Every gastroenterologist knows that the minute they start to admit to their patients that they have injured or killed other patients, they know that their career is over from that day. Let’s face it, how many people are going to allow a doctor to do a colonoscopy on them who has killed or injured patients in the past? Very few and they know this. Instead of lying about it, they simply live in denial. The doctor who nearly killed me stills tells all of his patients he has never injured or killed a patient. He can do this because he never admitted that it was his scope that caused the hole in my colon and it is nearly impossible for anyone to prove, beyond a doubt, that an endoscope caused the death or injury. They will even go as far as claim that it was a coincidence that a hole popped into the person’s colon near or around the same time as the procedure and even the courts have to accept that, because though it is a very rare occurrence, any persons bowel can perforate or rupture on it’s own due to ulcers or even just a sports injury or what have you. It is nearly impossible to prove the scope absolutely cause the injury and this is the reason they can go on injuring one person after the next and never have to even admit that they ever hurt or killed a patient. It’s really sick, but this is the state of our modern medicine.

      I hope that you are doing better now.

      Please let me know where you are at this point. I am so sorry for the technical problem. I have been ill over the last week and did not notice that my email server was not working properly and was not checking the server controls for this blog. I hope I have not responded to this too late and am still able to help you through the decision making process that you have found yourself in.

  4. Olive Kowalchuk Diamandopoulos
    February 10, 2015 | 6:28 pm

    Is this the end for me!

    • Wolverine
      February 19, 2015 | 2:43 pm

      I am so sorry for not getting this comment right away and I hope that my delay has not been too long to be of help. Please read my reply to the original comment and let me know if there is anything I can do to help. I feel really bad about the delay in getting back to you on this, but the server seems fixed now, so I will get any future comments or emails right away.

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