Right to reply- public criticism in Delo, newspaper from Slovenia
A few patients from Slovenia made me aware that in an article about endometriosis patients and their struggles, there is also criticism about me. The article is called “A silent disease we should talk about out loud” and based on google translation it also mentions that more and more patients are travelling abroad for surgery, because of the lack of treatment in their country.
In the said article, Prof. Dr. Eda Vrtačnik Bokal, Ph.D. med. the head of the Clinical Department of Reproduction at the University Medical Center Ljubljana and the Day Center for Endometriosis (DCE), made some false allegations about me. It’s sad when fellow colleagues act like we are in competition when in fact we have the same goal: the well-being of our patients. It is also unprofessional at best. Normally I wouldn’t give a second thought to such slandering as I am confident that my reputation can withstand such attacks and my patients know too well that they found in me the solution no other doctor provided them.
I am writing this reply as a favour to a few of my patients that asked me to correct the false information.
I also emailed the newspaper for the right to reply, but they have not got back to me.
This is the original text
Kritična je do tako imenovanih strokovnjakov v tujini: »Bukarešta – to je ena krasna spletna stran, na kateri se pokaže lep zdravnik, pacientkam pa se je morda udobneje iz domačega naslonjača z nekaj kliki dogovoriti za operacijo kot pa priti fizično v naš center. Ampak ta gospod nima niti ene publikacije v strokovni literaturi, pri teh pacientkah nimamo niti ene histologije.
And google translation
The doctor is critical of so-called experts abroad: “Bucharest – this is a wonderful website where a nice doctor shows up, and patients may be more comfortable from the home armchair with a few clicks to arrange an operation than to come physically to our center. But this gentleman does not have a single publication in the professional literature, we do not have a single histology in these patients”.
Scientific- medical articles
1. It seems that Prof Dr Bokal is criticising me for not having a single article in medical journals. To correct Prof Dr Bokal, I do have an article in ecronicon.com, published in Feb 2019 called “Association Between Cervical Cancer And Deep Endometriosis”, which can be found here https://www.ecronicon.com/ecgy/pdf/ECGY-08-00288.pdf
2. I have operated on patients that were previously operated on by PROFFESOR DOCTORS. Needless to say, that surgeries were incomplete, or ablation was used.
3. I am a surgeon, I chose to spend my time where I am needed the most: in the theatre, seeing patients, validating their symptoms. The little time that I have outside my clinical work is for me and my family.
4. My priority is to be a better surgeon, a better doctor, to be able to do the best for my patients. I use my time based on what I want to achieve: learning about endometriosis to gain more experience as a surgeon and as a doctor.
5. When one surgery can take up to 6-7-8 hours or 10 hours as I had very recently, writing medical articles to get the approval of Professor Doctors, is not on my list.
6. I did not invent excision and I don’t practise something not known – I am just doing what other hundreds, thousands of surgeons are doing. And based on my patients’ feedback, I am doing it very well.
This is not only a lie but a false accusation as well. There is not a single surgery that I have done without sending specimens for histopathology examination. This can be confirmed by our patients.
And to clarify Prof Dr Bokal’s concerns, here are some of my credentials:
- I have graduated with honours in 2003 from the University of Medicine Carol Davila
- I came first in the country at my residential examination
- In 2008 I became a specialist in obs-gynecology
- In 2013 I sat an exam to became what is known as consultant in obs-gynecology. My current title in Romanian is “medic primar”. The term “primar” comes from Latin “primus- primarius” which translates as “the first”, a grade higher than specialist.
- I hold specialisations in uro-gynecology and onco-gynecology
- My surgical base to what I am today was started by Prof Arnaud Wattiez
- I deal with endometriosis patients 24/7
- I do 7-8 surgeries a week
- I have done around 600 surgeries as a main endometriosis surgeon in the last 3 years
- I have 116 surgical videos on my youtube channel
- I have operated on patients from 35 countries so far
- I use laparoscopy in 99% of my endometriosis patients
- I am an expert in endometriosis surgery by experience
- 90% of my surgeries are deep infiltrating endometriosis
- I have been peer vetted as an endometriosis specialist
I had my first patient from Slovenia in 2018 and since then I have had at least 1-2 patients every week. Also, for Prof Dr Bokal information – patients do not go abroad for surgery due to convenience as said in the article “easy to book surgery from their living room than go to their centre”, but because they know that their chance to have a better life is to travel outside their country.
Although booking surgery online might be easy, they still need to come to me to operate them. I am yet to find a way of doing surgery online! Patients who have no options but to travel to a foreign country, to have surgery with no family and friends around, they do so out of necessity not out of convenience, or because I have a website.
They travel to get a diagnosis, they travel to get a chance to become a parent, they travel to have their symptoms validated, they travel because they have been through multiple incomplete surgeries, they travel because all they receive is hormonal medication, they travel because they are told to have a baby to cure their condition or that there is nothing wrong with them.
They do not travel to see me because of my website, but because my team and I can offer them a chance to have a life without pain, because we believe them, because we help them with everything they need, because we listen to them, because we have very good results, because we care about every single one of them, because we acknowledge when we make mistakes, because we answer them and we provide information for them. And many more BECAUSE.