Patient Perspectives

Interview conducted by: Hilary Swift

Patient perspectives is a series of interviews conducted by medical student members of the patient and family centered care committee of the SIR medical student council. The goal of these interviews is to inform the reader of patient’s experiences as they undergo various IR procedures. We hope that these interviews shed light on the effects that IR physicians and the procedures they perform can have on patient’s lives. We also hope that they answer the questions that some patients and patient’s families may have regarding a potential IR procedure. All personal health information has been removed from the below interview to ensure the anonymity of the interviewed patient.

What procedure did you have done?
Insertion of 2 nephrostomy tubes.

Had you ever been treated by an interventional radiologist before?
Not that I know of.

How did you end up with the interventional radiologist?
I had never heard of IR prior to this.

What is your understanding of what an interventional radiologist does?
I was recovering slowly in a hospital following removal of my bladder and prostrate, so quality of life was not great. The nephrostomy tubes were deemed necessary to improve my recovery process, rather than correcting an underlying problem with my kidneys or ureters.

How did this change from before your procedure to after?
Yes

How did your medical condition impact your quality of life prior to the procedure?
I honestly don’t recall, but I was probably concerned about the mechanical intervention of my kidneys and how the nephrostomy tubes would function and feel.

What was it like being in the IR suite as a patient?
Much the same as any other procedure involving anesthesia. I have hardly any recollection of theactual event.

What was recovery like?
I experienced considerable discomfort after anesthesia wore off, mostly around the exit areas, and found it difficult to sleep comfortably for the duration due to the tubes exiting on both sides of my back.

Did you follow up with your interventional radiologist after the procedure?
I believe I had a follow-up in the hospital to confirm correct placement of the tubes, but nothing like a consultation follow-up. I also had to return for re-insertion of one of the tubes about 2 weeks later due to one pulling almost out of my kidney (which caused considerable pain).

For how long did you follow-up with your interventional radiologist? How many times did you see them?
No follow-up occurred, except as noted above.

Was the patient-physician relationship different than what you are used to? If so, how?
No, but the “relationship” was minimal – we talked briefly before each procedure and I did not have the same person each time.

Are you happy with the care you received from your interventional radiologist? Is there anything you wish went differently?
Yes, but it was largely secondary to the primary care from my urological surgeon, so I did not expect (or need) much care from the IR specialist.

How did your quality of life change as a result of the procedure?
It helped my recovery which was invaluable, but the 3-4 weeks that I had the nephrostomy tubes were not enjoyable!

Do you have any other thoughts about your experience?
Not really, but a better design of the nephro tube exit area would be nice!

The SIR medical student council would like to thank the above patient for their time and for sharing their experience.