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Lise 06-20-2003 01:27 AM

Canadians' experiences with doctors & with $ insurance
Hi! I’m a 58-years old woman living in Montreal. Twenty years ago a tiny hemangiome appeared on my inferior lip. It was then removed by an ORL (wrong diagnosis and bad surgery). The tumor recurred very shortly after the surgery. These recent years, it kept steadily growing. I’ve it had excised on May 23, 2003 by Dr. Waner in Little Rock. He succeeded in taking out most of it, but forecasts a recurrence in about ten years. It is an AVM. The swelling due to the surgery has not completeley receded yet, but it decreases every day and I know that in a few days my lip will look completely normal at last! Already, it is barely noticeable, and it is a great relief not to be stared at by people any more. I’m happy and I feel that I took the right decision by going to Little Rock.

Here in Quebec, the specialist to whom a child with a vascular anomaly will be referred is Dr. Josee Dubois, working at Hôpital Sainte-Justine (a children’s hospital). She is listed in the Doctors’ List on this Web site. She used to look also after adults having this kind of problem, but now, adults are referred to Dr. Gilles Soulez at Hôpital Notre-Dame. Both doctors are radiologists. Their procedure is the following : angiogram, embolization and a plastic surgery (performed by another doctor, a plastic surgeon). Angiograms are a bit risky, they can cause a stroke (and I’ve had a stroke a few years ago).

I’ve been through a lot of medical consultations and research for this AVM. Finally, the radiologists’ invasive and riskier procedure, compared to the local one used by Dr. Waner, and expectation of better results with him made me take the decision to go to Little Rock. Although I’m a bit disappointed by the fact that even he could not get me rid of the AVM, I have no regrets at all. Whether I’m right or wrong, I’m convinced that this was the best solution.

Dr. Soulez and his partner, the plastic surgeon, wrote a very good letter to the RAMQ (the governmental health insurance commission in Quebec) saying that because of the risk of recurrence of the AVM and the riskier procedure, it would be recommended that I have it removed by Dr. Waner. The RAMQ rejected just the same my request for complete reimbursement of the surgery (they will pay only for what it would have cost here – which, I understand, will be a very very small part of the total bill). This correspondence between the radiologists and the RAMQ took place in January 2003. Last week, I appealed against the decision of the commission.

I would like to hear from other Canadians about their experience with doctors and with insurance matters. As I’m french-speaking, here are a few words for french-speaking readers (if there are any) : répondez-moi en français, ça va me détendre!


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