You might think that a lipoma is a small thing, and that removing it is no big deal. I guess it is most of the time, but here’s a story about what can go wrong.
I went to my dermatologist to have a small lipoma removed from my lower abdomen. It was about the size of a plum and seemed like it was right under the skin. It had been present for a few years but was growing in size and becoming uncomfortable in my daily life, never mind exercising (I play ice hockey and I run so I’m used to a lot of exercise).
The procedure was done on a Thursday. At first it was fine but all of a sudden there was a lot of blood coming out; enough so that a stream of blood hit the doctor. She called for an instrument to stop the bleeding, then they had trouble getting it to the right level. I couldn’t believe it but I was lying on her table and what was I going to do? So even though it seemed like there was still some bleeding she put in some stitches and finished. Then she said that it might swell up that night and that if it did I should go to an Emergency Room.
Sure enough, a few hours later I had this big, painful ball in my groin and she told me to go the ER. I then spent 8 hours at an ER where they did a CT Scan to make sure there was no internal bleeding and then said I could go home. They said it would just resorb on its own. The pain was getting worse and worse; I couldn’t even walk without grimacing and I really didn’t know what to do. This was a nightmare.
I went home and the doctor called me once or twice over the weekend. She had me on painkillers and antibiotics so I figured everything would be okay. It wasn’t.
By Monday my entire lower abdomen was swollen and bruised, same thing for my penis and scrotum , and I was in excruciating pain. I spoke with her and she sent me to a plastic surgeon, Dr. Engler. Thank God she did.
Dr. Engler saw me that day and, from the start, it was a completely different experience. It’s hard to believe that these two doctors are in even close to the same field. He was extremely compassionate and detail-oriented. He told me I would need surgery under general anesthesia at the hospital to drain this thing. He got me into surgery almost over night, and fought to get me quickly in the OR to relieve the extreme pain caused by the hematoma. He reopened the stitches, flushed out the fluid and clotted blood, inserted a tube for the fluid to drain out over the next couple of days. Much of the pain was immediately relieved by removing the pressure -- something that should have been done at the first surgery. While I was being taken to the OR, the nurse told me that Dr. Engler was one of his favorites, and that I was lucky to have him as my doctor.
By the next day I was dramatically better but it has been a slow course. Dr. Engler wanted me to see a urologist to make sure that everything was okay in that region, so I did. He did an ultrasound that demonstrated good blood flow to the testes, which was a relief.
Since the first moment I met him, Dr. Engler has been everything I could have hoped for. He is kind, compassionate, concerned, available (he answers calls and texts at any hour of the day or night and over the weekends). He has a wonderful staff that is friendly, welcoming and professional.
I have a long way to go (it has been two weeks since the surgery and I still can’t stand up straight) but am clearly on the mend. I am so grateful to be in Dr. Engler’s care.
I would highly recommend this doctor for anyone who is looking for a doctor who is highly skilled, has amazing bedside manner, and will go the extra mile for you when you need it.
In the midst of all the suffering that I've been going through over the past couple of weeks, and after multiple surgeries and hospitals, Dr. Engler has been a great source of comfort and has been someone I could trust - a true hero in my book.