Naked During Surgery?

| January 13, 2013 | 32 Comments

This is not an uncommon fear. I don’t want to have the whole world see me naked during surgery either.

There is only a certain set of individuals allowed in the operating room other than your surgeon, anesthesiologist, and nurse. This includes any assistants that directly help the surgeon with the case and assistants that help with moving and transporting patients.

If anyone else out of this ordinary set of individuals will be present, you will sign a consent form to allow this to happen. For instance, if a health care student who is learning will be watching the surgery, you must give your permission before this can occur. If you are getting care in an academic institution, residents and students will usually be present. We all learn by seeing and doing things, and this is the way in which future doctors, nurses, and assistants are trained.

Many cases are performed laparoscopically and using cameras. If pictures are taken with this equipment (inside your body), it is for the reason of taking good care of you and documenting exactly what your surgeon saw and what they did. It goes without saying, though, that no other types of pictures are taken without your expressed written consent. We all take this very serious.

Most likely, you will be wearing a hospital gown. Learn about what to expect when wearing the gown here.

But I still don’t want anyone to see me naked you say. The honest truth is that for us, the operating room is our office. And it is professional work and serious business. Therefore, the only parts of your body that are exposed are the ones that are essential to be visualized for your procedure. And as soon as we can, we cover you up.

We all try and remember that we will one day be patients as well.

If you have any concerns or questions about how your modesty will be protected, please ask your surgeon, nurse, and anesthesiologist prior to surgery.

Thank you for trusting us to take care of you. And thanks for stopping by anesthesiamyths.com!

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Category: Anesthesia Topics, Day of surgery, The Operating Room

Comments (32)

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  1. Siobhan says:

    Great site and written with the man/woman on the street in mind. I had surgery yesterday and needed some reassurance today. I got it here. Thank you

    • DrJoe says:

      Glad you found some help on the site! Thanks for your nice comment.

    • Ron says:

      Your an idiot believing what they tell you

      • connie sheldon says:

        I agree Ron. I recently got hurt at work and had to have arthroscopic knee surgery. My surgeon was great but the hospital was not. First I had to argue to have my husband come in with me before surgery as I was scared and hurt. needed him to help me get undressed and to go to the bathroom which he was not allowed to do.. They told me I had to get naked and fought them tooth and nail and they pulled the curtain as I got undressed without my husbands help. the nurse actually opened my gown before she tied it back up to see if I was naked. so once going into surgery they started dosing me right away and what I remember is climbing onto the operating table, left arm going on to a board, right arm going onto a board and the guy saying untied and open the gown. I felt my gown coming down and then I was out. I know that I was totally exposed before the surgeon got there as they probably just pulled up my gown then draped me. Gowns are not sterile and I could have worn shorts and a t shirt then draped…or better yet give me paper undergarments. If I ever have to have knee surgery again I will have a spinal so I can be awake and watch them. Not all surgeries are the same and the chances of me needing a catheter for a 20min arthroscopic are 0. I should have fought harder for my rights and next time I will. sorry I don’t want to hear you’re professionals…you do whatever is quicker and easier for you. And sure what the hell. Take a peek when you can.

        • David Draghinas says:

          I’m sorry to hear about your experience. That is not typical of the places that I work or have worked in the past.

  2. Ben says:

    I have a serious congenital deformity and have always worried about being seen naked in the operating room.

    After my last surgery, a couple of unit nurses made snide comments about my body right outside my open bedroom door on several occasions. These incidents were reinforced when I visited an obese friend in the hospital and heard a physician describe her as a “boat”.

    When I took anatomy and physiology as an undergraduate, we were sternly warned about treating the corpses respectfully and told that if anyone were ever caught joking about a corpse or treating it disrespectfully, he would be immediately expelled from the lab and course. Now, some medical professionals otherwise report they often joked about corpses in their labs.

    I am no longer quite so trusting of medical professionals in this regard and do wonder what they say about me while I am naked, unconscious, and vulnerable in the surgical suite.

    More surgeries are planned but I do not feel safe in this regard.

    • Joe Jackson says:

      Ben,

      I am truly sorry to hear about your experiences. This is unacceptable.

      But I am thankful you bravely shared your story. It helps reinforce and remind all of us in the medical field to be respectful of all patients.

      It is a completely vulnerable experience to be a patient and be exposed.

      At the very least, your dignity should be well respected.

      I pray that this experience won’t happen to you again.

      • Alexis Ryan says:

        I really need to share my story, if only for my sake; but I truly hope the telling of my story will help someone else avoid the nightmare that I experienced and am still trying to wake from.

        Seven months ago, I had a beautiful baby girl, during which an emergency C-section was performed. Not only did the surgeon “accidentally” cut a major artery which resulted in my bleeding almost to death (and during which they had to perform CPR, resulting in a collapsed lung, plus a lung stent) I, too, was also joked about. This bothered me a great deal. I do not remember any of it (thanks to amnesia-causing medications, but the reason I know anything at all about the jokes that were being made of me, was because my husband later informed me that I had told the surgical team that I was angry that they were laughing and joking about me. Turning red, the surgeon turned to my husband, “It is true that we were joking around, but not about Mrs._______.” My husband, according to his retelling of the story, was that he didn’t care what they were laughing at; they shouldn’t have made inappropriate comments and jokes during surgery, especially in light of the fact that they had cut a major artery by “accident.” I am grateful for my husband’s defense of me, seeing as how I was, like Ben mentions, naked and defenseless (and dying), at the hands of the surgical team tasked with saving my baby and I.

        When the doctors came out to talk to my husband, according to him, they were covered in arterial spray from all the blood I’d lost. They told him they were losing me and they didn’t think I would survive. According to my husband, they had to airlift me to a major city hospital, because they didn’t have the necessary equipment to save my life at that particular medical facility. Overall, the entire experience not only robbed me of the first six months of my daughter’s life (how long it took me to even -begin- to recover); 7 months postpartum, I am (unbelievably) still bleeding, because of their grave mistake.

        Because they had to cauterize the arterial cut they’d made, the surgeon(s) had to take one of my ovaries, and the cauterization itself rendered my uterus “non-viable.” So, as of this writing, they want me to schedule a hysterectomy to “fix” their mistake. And I am supposed to trust the surgical team long enough to have another major abdominal surgery? They don’t even understand me or what happened well enough to comprehend that their actions have left me extremely gun-shy. I will trust them when they have given me reason to; so far, however, all the surgeons have given me are reasons -not- to. Because of their incompetency, I have lost untold amounts of time with my daughter that I will never get back (my husband has been the primary caretaker for the past 7 months of her little life, as I have been in too much pain to care for her. I was hospitalized for 2 weeks, during which my milk supply dried up; and I paid with (very nearly) my life, as well as my sanity, my health, and my ability to ever have children again. According to my doctors, even if I can get away with not having the hysterectomy they want me to have (which is my hope), the next baby will surely kill me (thanks to their foolish actions).

        This whole experience has made me fear, and lose respect for, the very doctors I had entrusted my life to. We always believe our doctors will save our lives, not take them from us. Due to the foolishness of the surgical team laughing and telling jokes about me at the very time they cut a major artery, resulting in my near death and physical disability, I no longer trust medical “professionals” (they hardly acted “professional” and fear even the most basic of surgeries – which is a surgery to remove the kidney stents that were placed when their operation sent my kidney function plummeting.

        Because of my surgical team’s foolishness, I am just now beginning to walk again (after six long months of being bedridden and my muscles atrophying), I suffered a collapsed lung most likely due to the CPR, and spiraled down into kidney failure as a direct result of the surgery that almost killed me during which the stents were placed. Thankfully, I remember none of what happened to me.

        • What I -do- remember is “waking up” in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a large city hospital.
        • What I do remember are the very unprofessional and cruel doctors tasked with professionalism and compassionate standards of care.
        • What I do remember is the thirteen units of blood that I needed to bring me back to the land of the living (and I lost count just after 13 units, so I’ll never know just how many blood transfusions were needed in total.
        • What I do remember is spending Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s in the hospital, surrounded by the harried, stressed-out faces of strangers (doctors, nurses) rather than the faces of those I loved.
        • What I do remember is my husband leaving to go home, and not seeing him (or my son or daughter) for another 2 weeks, because he needed to be home with our baby (who I only got to see briefly in the hospital before he left with her).

        What I DO remember is what I do NOT remember:
        • I do not remember my baby being born.
        • I do not remember ever getting the chance to bond with my baby.
        • I’ve been told but I do not remember, that I tried to breastfeed her (but my milk supply dried up entirely by the time I was released from the hospital.

        What I do remember is that when I should have been celebrating the joyous holiday season with my beautiful baby, I was, instead, in agony and unable to get out of bed, without my husband’s help with even the simplest things, such as going to the bathroom.

        • What I do remember is the look on my ob-gyn’s face when she told me I would need a hysterectomy even though I had wanted one more child.
        • What I do remember is the total lack of compassion by the very doctors I thought were tasked with being the compassionate care I’d come to expect of doctors, whether earned or not; I now know differently.
        • What I do remember is pain so severe that it made the 36-hour natural labor with no anesthesia (with my firstborn) look like a cakewalk.

        • What I do remember is fighting with my husband because he couldn’t keep me company 24 hours a day, seven days a week while I lay in bed unable to be a part of my family’s life and recuperating from the mess that they had made of my body and my mind. What I’ll never forget was the emotional and physical toll the entire horrible experience took on my body & mind. I still wish it was all just a terrible dream and that I will wake up soon to a body that doesn’t hurt and a mind that doesn’t “remember” (the bad). But the jury is still out as to whether I’ll regain any of what I lost; still, one thing I will never regain is the third baby I wanted to have after my first-born son and second-born daughter. For me, three children was what I wanted. I wanted three and only three. But that is not my choice to make any more… for the doctors have made it for me.

        • Alexis Ryan says:

          To Dr. Dave and Dr. Joe:

          I hope one or both of you can reply to the story I shared with you, as I would be very grateful to know what I can do to better mentally cope with the situation, and/or ask what I should do regarding the surgical team I was injured by. I have tried to be as coherent as I can be in regards to any medical terminology and/or the medical field as I understand it in my story, but I am certainly not a doctor and most of what I know about my own case is only second-hand; and most of that information came from my husband, who is not a doctor, either.

          Thank you so much for having a site such as this run by doctors such as yourselves as a safe place to voice our stories and/or concerns. I am excited to have discovered this forum.

          Something that still really bothers me is that I wish I felt that I could fully trust a surgical team again, but that sort of trust is, unfortunately, hard-won and easily lost. I undergo surgery in approximately one week to have my kidney stents removed. I am, as you might have guessed, extremely nervous about the upcoming surgery. And my

          I was told by my mother that I should sue the hospital in my particular case; what are your thoughts on this and, in your opinion, would it help me to cope with the negative experience at all? Also, I was going into law enforcement at one particular time in my life; and if I may be so brutally honest, it seems that some doctors protect other doctors the way that some cops protect other cops (that “thin blue line” you hear about is real) – so is this something I should tell or not tell my primary care doctor? He knows how badly my surgery went, and how much I have struggled since my experience (physically speaking) and he does not know the medical team that made the mistakes I’ve spoken of here today, but I am wondering if it would make him value me less or even be more “suspicious” of me as his patient, fearing, perhaps, that I would do the same to him? (I would not, at least not without very good reason.) True, I am not a fan of the surgeon(s) that caused me such emotional and physical upheaval, but I do really love my doctor and I don’t want him to view me negatively solely as a result of my attempt at regaining some measure of control over my life.

          This past experience has certainly not been my only negative medical encounter, but has most definitely been the worst one and has resulted in a phobia regarding hospitals that wasn’t a part of my constitution before. My husband was extremely worried that I wasn’t going to make it when the doctors told him I was dying, and when he told me what had happened when I woke up in the ICU, I thought for days afterward that I was going to die, because his fear had sort of rubbed off on me and I developed some strange form of PTSD, becoming panicked over what I saw as my impending death. The mind is strange, indeed, in the way it works. I feel I need a lot of help healing the scars of this difficult experience, and am not sure where to turn for help regarding this situation or whether or not I should follow my mother’s advice. But I am feeling like I’m in a very dark place right now, both mentally and physically speaking…because, like I mentioned, the incident has left me at least temporarily disabled and in a wheelchair, and I may very well be permanently disabled — because I am, as a direct result of the botched surgery, suffering chronic bodily pain. (I also lost all of my hair, which, according to my doctor, was the result of “extreme physical and emotional trauma” from the surgery itself.

          PS. Please DO NOT publish this reply, as it is meant more as a personal note to you as the doctors heading up this site, instead of a sharing of personal information such as my particular story. I was hoping you might be able to respond to my story (or to this reply, whichever works best for either, and/or both of you gentlemen.) Thank you very much, in advance.

  3. lisa says:

    Why don’t hospitals tell patients they can where surgical shorts for most procedures? By willfully neglecting to tell patients this, the medical community is not acting in a professional manner and is not trying to minimize exposure. I just had surgery and when I asked they said “sure we can have a pair ready for you if you want.” The nurse basically said we have them but we just choose not to use them even though 80% of surgeries can be done with them on. Not professional.

    • David Draghinas says:

      Lisa,

      Thanks for your comment. I don’t think it’s quite that simple.

      I’m not sure most hospitals have the surgical shorts you mention. Although an even simpler solution is to ask the hospital staff if underwear need to be removed for that particular procedure.

      Surgeries that last longer than about 2 hours will likely require catheterization of the bladder. Sometimes even shorter surgeries also require this.

      I think that nurse, unfortunately, was not accurate in her assessment. At least not accurate for most hospitals and surgery centers in this country. I have worked at many hospitals and medical centers in my career, and I would say the overwhelming majority of OR personnel are mindful and respectful of patient exposure.

      Dr. Dave

      • Dr. Dave,

        It is often unnecessary to remove underwear for many surgeries that do not involve the genitals.

        I encourage you to check out an article about how a patient can protect his / her modesty for a colonoscopy at http://patientmodesty.org/colonoscopymodesty.aspx. A patient can wear special colonoscopy shorts or boxer shorts backwards to protect modesty.

        I also would like to encourage you to check out an article I wrote about how informed patient consent is missing from urinary catheterizations that was published on a retired cardiologist’s blog at http://patientprivacyreview.blogspot.com/2013/05/informed-consent-for-urinary.html. There are many other great articles on this blog about patient modesty.

        Misty

        • David Draghinas says:

          Misty,

          Thanks for sharing your detailed replies and your passion on this subject matter.

          I actually believe we are in agreement. My personal belief is that no patient should be exposed more than is necessary to safely perform the indicated procedure.

          Most anesthesiologists feel the same way I do. Again, thanks for your responses.

          Dr. Dave

      • Mark says:

        That makes me wonder – about what you say that a catheter being used for a surgery over 2 hours. I recently had an abdominoplasty. My surgeon said it took a little over 3 hours. My Incision was almost completely around to midline on my back. When I asked how they got the so far with the Incision he said they had to turn me over, this also was not mentioned to me before the surgery so I’m wondering if I had a catheter? There was only the surgeon, the anesthesiologist and 2 nurses present when I went in the room so I’m pretty sure they saw me naked, and I was already self conscious enough about that. so if I had a catheter I imagine it would have been one of the nurses who inserted it? They never mentioned any of it to me so I assumed I didn’t have one. Would they have told me if they put one in or not? How much do they do without telling you?

        • Joe Jackson says:

          Mark,

          If catheterization is required for the surgery, it is commonplace for this to be discussed with you prior to the surgery. However, in certain situations, catheterization may not be initially needed but then may end up being required for your safety and monitoring during the procedure.

          If you would like to definitively know whether or not this took place, don’t hesitate to ask the surgeon or the nurse that took care of you during the procedure.

          Our goal is for you to understand everything that is going to take place in the operating room. This is called informed consent and is a very important part of our job as healthcare professionals. Some patients want to know all the details and some patients just want to know the basics. This is part of what makes every patient different and unique. But our ultimate goal is to keep you safe and informed consent is part of this process.

          Hope this helps. Let us know if you we can clarify any other issues.

    • It is true that patients can wear underwear / shorts for most surgeries. If the hospital refuses to provide you with surgical shorts, you can always look into buying 100% cotton or disposable surgery shorts. They cannot contain metals of course.

  4. I am very concerned about this article. Let me share my responses to areas I’m concerned about in this article:

    1.) “This is not an uncommon fear. I don’t want to have the whole world see me naked during surgery either.”

    There is only a certain set of individuals allowed in the operating room other than your surgeon, anesthesiologist, and nurse. This includes any assistants that directly help the surgeon with the case and assistants that help with moving and transporting patients.”

    My response:
    There is no reason for many patients to be naked for surgeries. For example, it is ridiculous that a hand surgery patient’s gown was removed during surgery. Also, she should have been allowed to wear 100% cotton underwear / shorts and special bra under the gown. She was actually a nurse at her hospital who had expressed concerns about how patients were unnecessarily exposed.

    What about patients who request an all same gender team for urological and gynecological surgeries and their wishes are ignored? I encourage you to check out the story of Maggie who had requested an all-female team for her hysterectomy and was deceived at http://patientmodesty.org/Case.aspx?GID=1.

    Some hospitals allow medical students and sales representatives in the operating room without patient’s knowledge.

    2.) ” If anyone else out of this ordinary set of individuals will be present, you will sign a consent form to allow this to happen. For instance, if a health care student who is learning will be watching the surgery, you must give your permission before this can occur. If you are getting care in an academic institution, residents and students will usually be present. We all learn by seeing and doing things, and this is the way in which future doctors, nurses, and assistants are trained.”

    My response:
    I wish that this was always true. But some hospitals let medical students in operating room without patient’s consent. When some patients decline to let medical students to participate in their surgeries, they are still pressured into letting them be present.

    3.) “Many cases are performed laparoscopically and using cameras. If pictures are taken with this equipment (inside your body), it is for the reason of taking good care of you and documenting exactly what your surgeon saw and what they did. It goes without saying, though, that no other types of pictures are taken without your expressed written consent. We all take this very serious.”

    My response:
    This is very concerning even if patient gives permission to use camera. Pictures could somehow be distributed to people who were not authorized to see them. Do patients always know that the camera could somehow take pictures of their private parts even if they were not involved in the surgery?

    4.) ” But I still don’t want anyone to see me naked you say. The honest truth is that for us, the operating room is our office. And it is professional work and serious business. Therefore, the only parts of your body that are exposed are the ones that are essential to be visualized for your procedure. And as soon as we can, we cover you up.”

    My response:
    Many patients do not want their private parts to be unnecessarily exposed to medical personnel no matter how professional and skilled they are. Keep in mind many patients do not want their private parts to be seen by opposite sex medical professionals no matter how much experience they have. Patients should always be allowed to wear 100% cotton underwear for surgeries that do not involve their genitals. Most patients who care about modesty do not mind having opposite sex medical professionals involved in their surgery if they are having surgeries on knee, hand. etc. as long as their private parts are never exposed.

    Misty

    • Dr. Maria T says:

      Hi Misty,
      I am a practicing clinician with a doctorate in psychology. The issues you raise are critical and fundamental to many of my clients. For medical doctors to be dismissive of the anxiety surrounding this issue is at their own peril. Clients with PTSD can be easily retraumatized and inadvertently believe the physician was responsible for the sexual trauma (called projection.) This is more of the old belief that a patient must trust the surgeon implicitly. The problem with this thinking is it is simply unrealistic in this era where priests have sexually molested children and doctors perform surgery on the wrong body part. When we are unconscious, we are at their mercy. Our lives are in their hands. It is not an easy thing to accept when a parent, pastor or trusted authority has sexually traumatized us.

      So, my suggestion (as a mediator by nature) is to provide patients with disposable surgical underwear which can be quickly ripped off if needed. It gives the patient one less anxiety (a problem for a successful recovery since cortisol released by anxiety inhibits the immune system) and the physician has his concerns for emergencies met. If this is unacceptable to a surgeon, I strongly encourage said surgeon to consult someone in my profession as his/her control issues can make him/her vulnerable to mistakes and lawsuits.

      Best wishes and keep discussing patient dignity. We are beings with souls. Otherwise we wouldn’t need mental health professionals!

      • David Draghinas says:

        Thank you for your valuable input.

        Most physicians and healthcare professionals I’ve worked with value and respect patient dignity.

        There are several situations where it may not be readily apparent to patients why things were done in a certain way.

        1. Surgeries lasting longer than 2-3 hours often require monitored urine output to help guide IV fluid management.

        So a complicated hand surgery, for example, that can take 5-6 hours or more will likely require the placement of a Foley catheter.

        2. For any given case, the surgeon will ask the nurse to prep a wide sterile field extending around the incision site(s).

        Surgical site infections are taken very seriously.

        A surgeon will not allow clothes of any kind within the prepped surgical field.

        3. In some cases (e.g. certain gynecological cases) an empty bladder can facilitate the surgery and decrease the chance of injury.

        Absent a medical reason, most professionals I work with are mindful of dignity and exposure of the patient. The goal is to expose the patient the minimum amount that is medically necessary.

        Dr Dave

  5. Randy Knickerbocker says:

    As a husband, I have issues with other men seeing my wife nude. I understand Doctors have seen countless naked bodies. However, I also feel you can’t take the man out of the man. We are wired different than woman. Recently shemy wife had successful ovarian cyst removal surgury. Present in the operating room were two male doctors, two male nurses, and one female anesthesiologist. I have issues with this. I can’t believe none of the males in the room ever looked at her and fantasized.about her. if not then, later. I have no way of knowing if she was covered up, if her modesty was cared for. I wish men were different, but we aren’t.

    • Joe Jackson says:

      Randy,

      Thanks for your candid response. In short, I feel what you are saying — we are all human. I would feel the same way if my wife was in the same position as yours.

      The only solace I can give you is that healthcare personnel are human just like you. We realize it could be our naked body on the table as well. So we treat the situation just as you would if you were in our shoes.

      Not to say that by any means we are all perfect. Or that all healthcare personnel are perfect.

      I think my overwhelming theme is that if you have certain concerns, let your doctor know! I know I would grant a specific request if it did not get in the way of patient safety, but also led to a more pleasant experience for the patient and family. I am confident that our colleagues would do the same.

      It could be our wives in the same situation as well.

      Thanks again for your comments.

  6. Edward Hensley says:

    I have a question. I was just reading a story where a guy woke up during a “Hand Surgery” and he was completely nude in front of everyone then covered back up after it was over. Can someone explain to me why this poor man had to be exposed like that for hand surgery? I’m looking in getting my hand operated on but if I have to go through that I will just stay in pain.

  7. Mark says:

    From what I understand, colonoscopies are considered clean procedures, not sterile. That being the case if the facility won’t provide same-gender caregivers or colonoscopy shorts for the screening, I see no reason not to allow a male patient to wear a pair of boxer shorts backwards or a jockstrap to hide his genitalia for the procedure.

    After the procedure he just has to change into a 2nd clean pair of underwear in private.

    The testing should at the patients request be allowed to be done without sedation just pain mitigation if necessary.

    Many american hospitals and clinics, won’t do the procedure without drugging the patient with versed/fentanyl and/or propofol. The drugs make you compliant and give you anterograde amnesia so you don’t remember what they did or did not do.

    For a colonoscopy most of the time you are not fully sedated. You just think you are because of the drugs they used.

    What are they trying to hide?

    That is totally wrong in my opinion.

    Unless a patient who is going in for surgery or a procedure specifically tells his/her doctor and/or anesthesiologist “I don’t want to remember anything from today” neither the doctor or the anesthesiologist has the right to use any drugs on a patient that would cause them to forget what happened.

    It’s unethical. That tells me they have something to hide.

    Surgery is a life event.

    If a patient chooses of their own free will not to have the memory of the days events erased, then the doctors and nurses should advocate for that patient and not use drugs that would erase the memory.

    What’s really scary is how does the patient really know that his or her wishes are being followed while they are under anesthesia.

    I’ve learned to write myself notes of actions I have taken up to any procedure. That way I can look back on my notes & know it they did something. I also get copies of my medical records. That will tell me a lot also.

    I learned the hard way not to trust healthcare personnel.

    Many times my gown would get pulled off and I would be left in a state for all to see.

    If I’m correct, that is a HIPPA violation.

    The government needs to put a stiff fine in place on the hospital & the employee should get terminated after the second offense every time a patient files a legitimate complaint for this kind of violation.

    It’s time for the government to stop listening to the hospital & start listening to the patients that are being violated.

    Until that happens, it won’t stop.

    I learned to always ask and re-ask questions.

    If my questions are not answered by everyone involved in my care to my satisfaction, nothing proceeds. I’ve pi**ed off a few doctors because of that but it’s my body and in the end the final choice belongs to me not the doctor..

    I have had a hydrocele for many years now. The doctor says I should get it fixed since there is a lot of pain involved now since it’s been going on for so long.

    I keep telling the doc when the hospital can provide me with same-gender caregivers for the outpatient procedure & ultrasound, I will proceed. Not until. I looked locally within 25 miles for a male tech to do the ultrasound but there are none.

    The doc at least decided to bring it up at the hospital board meeting because apparently I wasn’t the only male patient that wouldn’t go forward because of gender issues.

    Hospitals don’t go out of their way to hire too many male nurses and techs and from reading many different blogs there are a lot of men looking for these tech & nursing jobs. They say the hospitals tell them they are looking for women. That’s job discrimination if they are just as qualified.

    Patient modesty is not the joke that the healthcare industry seems to think it is. People aren’t going and getting the care they need because of the attitude of many (not all), healthcare providers.

    The healthcare industry needs to change. Laws need to be beefed up and changed where needed to effect these changes as the healthcare industry has shown they can’t/won’t do it by themselves.

    Mark.

  8. TOM Jones says:

    I would add that everyone should just grow up. Your body is no different than everybody else’s that your surgeon and the others in the operating room have seen many many times before. How badly can that hurt you.? If a man wants to fantasize about your wife he’s probably more likely to do it if he sees her in sensually attractive clothing. And you can’t control that either.

    • Dr. Maria T says:

      Have you ever been raped by your father, uncle or neighbor? If not, then your suggestion to just “grow up” can be perceived as insensitive. People often have different experiences that affect them in different ways. You just illustrated what I have observed working with medical doctors for 20 years prior to becoming a psychologist: Medical clinicians sometimes forget their is a soul in the bodies they are fixing. One aspect is not more important than the other. The physical is integrated with the spiritual and one affects the other. Many doctors are sensitive to this idea and I believe they want to meet the needs of their patients, just like me. Having this conversation furthers and advances that process.

    • Brad W says:

      I really don’t care that the “surgeon and others” have seen many bodies before, or as so many say, “we’re professionals.” I don’t like the fact that my wife is being seen nude (however briefly) by other men. Nor do I like the fact- no matter how others they’ve seen before- that I was revealed before so many female nurses providing care after a recent surgery, removing and re-inserting a catheter or assisting me in the shower, for example. Some nudity cannot be avoided, of course, but it doesn’t mean we have to like it, and for all the explanations I’ve heard, none justify being required to remove all undergarments for a hand or foot or knee surgery. It doesn’t matter if we’re physically attractive. Quite the opposite in fact. It may be simply that a patient doesn’t have a good self-image of his or her body. Finally, it might be the very fact that surgical staff has seen so many naked bodies that they’ve forgotten it might matter to the patient.

      • David Draghinas says:

        Thanks for your response, Brad.

        I agree. We should only expose that part(s) of the body that are medically necessary to accomplish the surgery.

        Dr Dave

  9. Dinty says:

    Sorry, the comment that this our office is baloney. I will not go to a female doc, do not want female nurses putting a catheter in me or bathing me. I feel the same for my wife with make nurses.

    Female nurses on male patient “below the belt” modesty will keep me from having any major surgery.

    Having a female nurse watch me dress after recent ear surgery is wrong. When it came to urinating before I could go home, she almost gleefully said she would go in with me. My wife went in with me.

    • David Draghinas says:

      Hi Dinty,
      You can certainly request Male/Female staff. Unless the surgery is an emergency, most hospitals will try to accommodate such requests.

  10. John says:

    Hi Brad:

    I couldn’t agree with you more.

    Until the general pubic gets fully involved and forces the healthcare industry to change their way of doing things, I’m afraid nothing will change.

    The system needs to encourage more male participation so both men and women can ask for and receive same gender caregivers.

    Right now, urology, is a nightmare for male patients. Men are expected to hand over their privacy and dignity at the door.

    Something that needs changing urgently.

    Regards,
    John

  11. Brad says:

    Dr Dave-

    My wife will undergo a total knee replacement in less than a week. While she doesn’t want to view video of a TKR, I do like to know what is about to be done and have viewed most of the procedures I underwent. In doing so, I watched a video of a TKR that included the draping, positioning of, and tourniquet placement on an already anesthetized male patient. He was completely exposed from his chest to his toes until almost as an afterthought a cover was placed on his genitals.

    I know from arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn miniscus that conscientious scrub techs or assistants will cuff a sheet around the upper thigh and crotch area to avoid exposing the patient’s genitals, but-and this is a big but, one cannot count on such consideration. If I were to find that my wife was treated in the same manner as the patient in the video, I would be furious.

    I am very sensitive to this issue in part, because I’ve witnessed the clumsy, callous handling of a woman who we had gone to wait for during her surgery. I was in the room she was to be moved into, when she was brought up from recovery. Out of consideration, I left the room, but not before those patient transporters had flashed her to themselves, her husband, and me.

    I don’t mean to be rude, but in your view, would that male patient’s genital exposure, or possibly my wife’s, be considered medically necessary exposure? I’m old enough now to buck the conventional wisdom of the medical profession which claims to be so inured to seeing naked bodies (people) but continues to demand it-many times unnecessarily-when it humiliates, or at least embarrasses so many people.

    Respectfully,

    • David Draghinas says:

      Hi Brad,
      The one thing that I can think of that MIGHT require that exposure is the placement of a urinary catheter. This will dependent on the surgeon and anesthesiologist for that case.

      I would reiterate to medical staff that you and your wife are very sensitive to this issue.

      My hope is that your wife will have a great experience during her medical stay.

      All the best,

      Dr Dave

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