July 12, 2019
How Dr. Foad’s Patient Care Surpassed Expectations for an Expecting Mother
This is Part Two of a two-part story. If you haven’t read Part One, read it here! (link to part one)
Surgery can be scary. Many times, surgery is considered the last resort if conservative treatment has failed. As simple as a procedure may be, a lot can go wrong. Whether you’ve had surgery many times before or are going in for the first time, the unknowns of going “under the knife” can be enough to keep people from receiving treatment they need.
In Megan Hassel’s case, she had no way of postponing the inevitable. Megan was going to have her distal radius and ulna fractures repaired at midnight on May 9, and she would be awake for the entire procedure. Although she was nervous, she was confident that Dr. Foad, hand and upper extremity surgeon from Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, would complete it as quickly and efficiently as possible.
At midnight, the staff took Megan into the operating room. Using a local anesthetic, Dr. Foad numbed Megan’s left arm and wrist as much as possible before beginning the surgery. A heavy lead shield covered her abdomen to protect her baby from exposure to the x-rays. Along with Dr. Foad’s surgery team, an OB team was there was well to monitor the baby and ensure it would be alright through the procedure.
“Having surgery awake and pregnant was not pleasant, to say the least,” Megan says. “I could hear everything and at times felt discomfort, especially from all the pressure of the lead shield on my abdomen to protect the baby from the x-ray exposure.”
Through the entire procedure, Dr. Foad talked to her and made sure she was as relaxed and comfortable as possible. He walked her step by step through the entire procedure, and when she became very uncomfortable, he worked to bring her pain back down to a manageable level. Staff updated Megan’s husband the entire time, which was appreciated by the whole family.
Megan was very grateful for the lengths Dr. Foad went to keep her calm throughout the surgery. “Dr. Foad talked me through every step, treated my pain, and when the pressure on my stomach and contractions became too intense, he worked quickly to bring the surgery to an end.”
After completion of the surgery, Dr. Foad gave her his personal cell phone number in case she needed him for any reason. This act of kindness would prove to be the first of many. The recovery process was not easy or painless; there was a lot of swelling, and the pain became very intense even with medication. In the morning, Dr. Foad texted Megan to check in and see how she was doing. When she told him that her pain was very intense, he brought her an ice machine from his home to the hospital for her to use.
Post surgery, staff wrapped Megan’s wrist in a cast. Due to post-operation swelling, however, the cast quickly became too small. Megan’s pain increased as the swelling continued, and Dr. Foad determined that it would need to be resized to better fit and keep her wrist in the right position for healing. Rather than make her wait, as soon as the hospital discharged Megan, Dr. Foad would refit the cast. He was at a different location, but if she could get to him, he would refit it that day.
Megan traveled to Dr. Foad after she left the hospital and he was able to resize her cast. The amount of swelling and tenderness was overwhelming, but Dr. Foad worked as quickly and efficiently as possible to minimize her pain. She was significantly more comfortable with the new cast.
These kind gestures made a significant impact on Megan and her family, and they helped in her recovery. Dr. Foad’s level of care went above and beyond expectations, and she was very grateful for his kindness and willingness to make her as comfortable as possible. She felt that his personalized level of care made her painful experience much less stressful than it could have been.
Megan is currently doing occupational therapy to get full use of her wrist back. Both she and her newborn are doing well, and she is expected to make a full recovery soon.