Questions for Doctors

A lot people go into a doctors appointment not really knowing what they should ask. We wanted to help provide a template for you to use when seeing your doctor to discuss your treatment.

How do you diagnose MALS?

Each doctor can have different diagnostic criteria. So there may be tests you’ve already done but they want repeated in a specific way. There are also times that some doctors will want a celiac plexus block while others won’t.

What type of surgery do you do?

Every doctor is trained differently and so their approaches will be unique. There are some doctors who purely specialize in Open Surgery, laparoscopic, or robotic laparoscopic. Research shows that statistically, all approaches have similar long term outcomes. Each patient and each surgeon are different.  So if you have a preference on what type of surgery you would like to have, asking about their approach and why is important.

What do you do during surgery?

This seems like a basic question but some people don’t seem to understand what was done during their procedure until after the fact. That leaves some people feeling that they didn’t receive the care that they thought they were going to get. So if you want your nerves addressed a certain way this is something that needs to be discussed before surgery. Each doctor has their own approach and it may not be the way you want your surgery done. So it's important to know what is going to be done so you don’t feel like you were given inadequate treatment.

How long do you follow my case Post-Op?

This is a very important question. A lot of us expect that a doctor will follow care for a long time. That isn’t always the case. It's also usually not what a surgeon does. They are usually called in to do the surgery and then you may never hear from them again. But when it comes to MALS some of us may develop a long term relationship with our doctors. So its good to know up front if that doctor is willing to do that for you or not.

What is the next step if surgery didn’t fix my symptoms?

A lot of us tend to go straight to saying a surgery failed when our symptoms persist. That isn’t always the case. There are times when additional intervention is needed even though the release itself was done. Some patients may need stenting or reconstruction of the artery done. While others may need further nerve intervention. It's always good to know if your doctor is going to be there to continue your care if needed.