Friday, 4 May 2012

Gollum and me.

Saw a young patient this week whose mum requested that his bat ears were operated on, to 'pin them back'.  I thought I was being helpful when I told him that I had had my bat ears operated on when I was 11 years old. And just to further reassure him I showed him how I would have looked were it not for the miracle of 'cosmetic surgery' (and all paid for by the wonderful NHS).  Sadly he just laughed!

What's so funny?
The NHS is great but it 'aint what it was. So no longer do pinnaplasty (Ok 'pinning back the ears') operations get done unless there are exceptional circumstances. So the option was to pay for a private operation. Trying to soften the blow I offered to check what sort of money would be involved. It took a while but eventually I was put through to someone who had the info at the local private hospital. "For a unilateral pinnaplasty it will be £1900". I had to point out that my patient actually had two ears. Just operating on one because of limited resources would be worse than useless.
A unilateral pinnaplasty
Rather unkindly my daughters suggest that without my surgery I could play the part of Gollum at any upcoming theatre productions.

Surely not..

I guess it's fairly par for the course for the private sector to charge 'per ear'. It's the ultimate in viewing patients are merely component parts, rather like the parts department at the local garage. I'm so often reminded of the need to view the patient in their entirety. 'What sort of patient has the disease rather than what sort of disease does the patient have,' as Parry would say.
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