Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Saturation Biopsy

By late June, 2016, my PSA was up to 6.4. This still wasn’t grounds for panic, but my urologist wanted to do another biopsy to make sure the cancer wasn’t getting out of hand. My first biopsy had been a standard 12-core sample. The saturation biopsy was to include 20 cores, including 17 via rectal probe and 3 external, through the perineum. This required a hospital visit, with full anesthesia.

The biopsy was on September 12, 2016. I had no discomfort during the procedure, of course, as I was unconscious. The hospital prescribed strong pain pills for my recovery, but I didn’t need them. At the hospital after the procedure, I learned that the results would be available in 5 business days. 

That afternoon and the following day I called my urologist’s office a total of four times to find out when my appointment was scheduled. I was cut off all four times, and able to do no more than leave my name and reason for calling. No one called back. The following day, Thursday the 14th, I sent a “secure message” via the urologist’s web site. I got no response until Monday the 19th, when I got an automated message saying that my message had not been read. I called again, and this time I was able to talk without being cut off. They told me then that due to some sort of mix-up no appointment had been made for me. By then, the earliest appointment available was on October 5, nearly three and a half weeks after the biopsy—far more than the five days for the results of my first biopsy, or for the “five business days” I had expected this time.

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