From a friend, who was looking for a referral to a new surgeon:
I cut myself on a shattering glass jar with high force, so that the glass penetrated about 3 centimeters into my right hand, on the side, below the little finger. I went to my college's medical center, where the nurses stitched up the wound but did not clean it past the outside or check for foreign bodies.
One week later I went to get the stitches out, and complained that part of my little finger was numb, and that certain motions of my hand and arm caused sharp pain near the site of the wound and along the whole length of my arm.
The nurse on duty suggested that I may have nerve damage, and, due to my concern over the possibility of glass shards in my hand, the nurse on duty ordered a CT scan of my hand. The radiologist report indicates that there are several 1-mm fragments of glass on the dorsal side of the metacarpal-phalangeal joint of my little finger, as well as one smaller 0.8mm shard on the other side. Based on this duty, the nurse referred me to a plastic surgeon, Dr. X.
I went for a consultation with Dr. X at his office at X Hospital. He said that I likely had nerve damage, and that he would do the following:
A. Perform exploratory surgery
B. Repair the nerve with microsurgery
C. "Dig around" to see if he could find the glass, which he assured me "was like looking for a needle in a haystack".
I told him that a CT scan existed showing the location of the glass.
He asked me to go to radiology and pick it up. When I returned with the compact disc holding the scan, he asked his secretary to bring it up. The two of them looked at the computer in the office for about three minutes, then he informed me that he could not see any glass, but that he would have a consultation with the radiologist to verify his conclusion, and that, in any event, "foreign bodies of any significance will make themselves known." He then muttered that he was "supposed to be out of here by 1:00 PM today," and the appointment was over.
Surgery is scheduled for May 2.
After this consultation, I went down to radiology and got another copy of the CT scan CD. I returned to work, placed the CD into my computer, and within about five minutes was looking at a detailed diagram, annotated with arrows, showing the exact location of the glass shards in my hand. I am perplexed as to how Dr. X could possibly conclude that there was likely not glass in my hand, and can only conclude that he was lying to me in order to get out of the office by 1:00 PM.
This has made me very reluctant to have him operate on me.