Plain Tales From The Surgery

HOT TOPIC

As I grow older I become more sympathetic towards patients who are prepared to undergo extreme cosmetic surgery to try to preserve their youth.

Dermobrasion is now commonplace, but I was slightly alarmed when one of my patients told me the dermatologists were going to give her oxyacetylene for her acne. I thought using a mixture of oxygen and acetylene to create high temperatures was rather extreme.

Ouch.

Dr Sally Hodder, Weymouth, Dorset

SEEDS OF LAUGHTER

I reviewed a well-to-do 75-year-old lady recently who had had some abdominal bloating and excess flatus. In addition to medication, I had suggested reducing or omitting carbohydrates.

After telling me how much better she felt now and how strict she had been with her diet, she looked a little worried and admitted: 'Actually, I haven't had my oats this morning.'

She was concerned about how her cholesterol level would be affected by her not having her usual breakfast, but it made me smile.

Dr Jeremy Cohen, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire

SAY IT HOW IT IS

A man in his early thirties had been complaining of vague right-sided upper abdominal/lower chest/lumbar pain for a long time. Clinically, it seemed to be muscular but he was unconvinced.

Eventually he was referred and scans/upper GI endoscopy came back normal.

He had started explaining his symptoms again during yet another consultation when all of a sudden he fell silent, his eyes fixed on the computer screen.

He then asked for an explanation of an entry made a while before, by a locum doctor, which said: 'Right hypochondriac pain'.

To divert his attention from this, I gave a lecture on the anatomical regions of the tummy.

I have not seen him since.

Dr Kanapathipillai Kangesan, Sydenham, south London

FISHY REQUEST

One of my patients recently asked me if I thought that she should have a 'marine coil' fitted.

Water strange request, I thought, is she just fishing for a referral?

Dr Mark Grocutt, Kings Heath, Birmingham.

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