Jan 26, 2013

The side-effect of a perfect surgery

Every surgeon looks to do the perfect surgery. The desired result which he promised the patient or even better, the smile on their face as they leave the hospital and the words of gratitude when they come across the doctor again.
Sometimes, however, being perfect has it's own drawbacks.

I came across a funny incident the other day.
A young girl had come from the Gulf along with her parents to get operated at the hospital. She had a significant strabismus / squint (a condition where the two eyes are not properly aligned). Now, the ophthalmologist did a splendid surgery and I happened to see the girl before she left the hospital and the change in appearance was remarkable. She and her parents were overjoyed with the cosmetic change.

The patient came back a month later for her follow-up with her surgeon. And yes, her parents had a significant bone to pick with the doctor. Can you guess what it was ?
The girl had no problems in vision. The squint had been completely corrected and there were no surgery related issues. The problem was that because of the surgery, the family was detained and not allowed to exit the airport !
The fact is that the surgery had gone so perfectly well that the airport security in the Gulf refused to let her pass, claiming that this was definitely not the same girl in the passport picture ! The family was detained at the airport and only after an hour of cursing the surgeon and finally opening up the cardboard luggage boxes and showing a discharge summary from the hospital were they allowed to leave. The family came back to complain (not necessarily in good humour) that the surgery had gone too well. They claimed that if only the surgeon hadn't done such a good job, they wouldn't have had to go through such an embarrassing situation while returning back!

Sigh... even perfection has it's side-effects.