Dr. Kim UCLA
Lately I have seen more comments on this blog about Dr. Kim and women are searching for alternatives to Dr. Raz because of the long time waits for consult and then surgery. It may surprise you to know that the waiting time has not changed dramatically since I went for consult and removal with Dr. Raz. I saw him for consult on June 5th 2012 and had surgery just over four months later on Oct 11th that year. Now it is around five months between the two. But of course it is a very hard wait when you are living in pain and it seems forever.
I have always stated it is not my place to choose who does your mesh removal surgery nor is it any of my business. I do know women often choose someone based on how close they are to home and it is not always the wisest choice. You should always consider if the doctor will continue to help you after mesh removal and if you need it, will they fix any problems or prolapse. Those are questions you should look a doctor (any doctor) in the eye and ask. I also know women have based their decision on mesh removal when a doctor offers that it won’t cost you anything out of pocket, or very little if you sign against your case. That could be a huge mistake but once again it is your choice and you should not rush it before you have time to think.
I know there are doctors who fly around the country and are doing quite well from removing mesh. They have surgery privileges in more than one hospital and they ask you to put up your lawsuit against the surgery costs. However, once you receive an offer for settlement you may find yourself being shocked at what you will be left with, if anything. Something that sounds too good to be true, often isn’t. Will this doctor guarantee it was all removed? Well the only way to know is to have a translabial ultrasound a few months later if you think your mesh removal surgery is questionable and these doctors do not offer it. Yes, the mesh should be measured and recorded at time of removal and should be in your operative report. Are they doing this correctly? I honestly don’t know. Then what do you do if you wind up with a prolapse? Will your doctor fly back to fix your problems? These are all questions you should address before you consent to surgery.
This is why I want you to know more about Dr. Kim at UCLA. She did not do my mesh removal, Dr. Raz did. Because he was so up to his neck in removals and I did not want to take a removal surgery slot away from a woman who was in agony just like I was while it was in my body, I decided to go to Dr. Kim for my reconstruction surgery. But I do know she is now doing many mesh removals and is very competent.
But I do want you to understand how UCLA works before you make a decision or try to switch doctors to speed things up. Officially the UCLA administration, not the doctor, has set up a plan for you to see any doctor. Most of the time, you must first go out for consult and be examined and take your operative reports for them to read, before they determine if you need to have your mesh removed. I have heard rumors that some women have it removed even when they don’t have any problems and to be honest I feel this is foolish. These surgeries are not easy, unless you only have a small piece clipped out of the center. There is a time for healing and you cannot rush it. Therefore it is unwise to have it removed if it is not causing you pain, continuous infections or is disabling you.
If you went to any doctor at all for what you considered to be mesh removal, please go to the hospital as soon as you feel better and get your operative report from the records department. Do not rely on what a doctor tells you. If you wonder what took place because the operative report is not clear, then go and talk to your doctor. You hired the person and you have rights to know what happened to your body. If the answers are vague you need to go somewhere else to find out if it was completely removed or not. I have learned over these years, that doctors often lie.
You should know that if you switch doctors at UCLA because you can see one sooner, you may be required to go for consult again with the doctor, so ask questions first. If you are coming in from overseas you will be required to pay cash beforehand. However, they will make arrangements for consult, tests and surgery to be done at one time. You will also go through someone who deals with International surgeries and I do have an email address for this department if you would like to leave a comment and ask. You do not need to leave your name to ask for it and I will send it to you via the email address you leave on this blog.
I met two women from England while I was out at UCLA last month and although the cost are very high, they had gone through so much in that country and the mesh and the anchors were still in their bodies giving them continuous pain. So they made a giant decision to take their savings or do fund raisers by asking friends to help them, to get it all removed. I also know another lady from England is flying in this month to have hers removed. This is your life and you have a right to do all you can to live it without terrible pain. Don’t let those on support groups in your country interfere with your decision.
Flying far from home is not easy and I know because I flew from Texas to UCLA and a straight flight is 3 ½ hours without stopping off. To save money we did stop off the first couple of times but I regretted it as it was so much harder on my pain level, even more so after surgery. After those first flights, we spent the extra money to do nonstop flights. It was so much easier on me and I am glad I did not have to sit long spells in airports waiting for a connecting flight.
I know woman often base where they go for removal due to a family member’s opinion. This is YOUR life and you should base your decision on what YOU feel is right for you, not on someone else’s choice. I am not writing this blog to persuade anyone to do anything they don’t wish to. Once again, it’s your life, your choice.
If you would like to learn about Dr. Kim’s background before you make a decision, you can read this
There is a link on there for her complete CV.
For help with costs of hotels and other expenses I have recently written a blog that may help you. This is it