Radiology/CT Scan

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Question
I have been having stomach problems for 2 wks, with varied degrees of pain. Last week I had an ultrasound, I personally thought I had a bad gallbladder. The ultrasound was negative all organs looked good so my PCP and I decided since my pain was minimal at that time we would "wait and see". The following Wednesday I was woke up because I felt as if I had been punched in the stomach. The following day I contacted my PCP and he ordered a CT. I had an abdominal/pelvis CT with contrast done yesterday (Monday) and the radiologist determined that I had an appendicitis. My PCP called me and told me to go to the hospital that they would be removing my appendix. It was quite rushed when I got to the hospital and I was prepped rather quickly. The surgeon arrived with the anesthesiologist and they began to exam and talk to me. The surgeon was perplexed at my lack of pain unless he pressed quite deep. The anesthesiologist then asked the magic question and they realized that I had had a light meal about 3 hours prior so they now had time. The surgeon then decided to look at my scan. He came back about 15 minutes later saying that he was sending me home. He thought that rather than an appendicitis I have an inflamed bowel, and that my appendix is merely malformed.

So after all that to the question...do Radiologists and Surgeons have differing opinions often? And when that happens what is the most logical thing for the patient to do?

Answer
Pam,

Great question!  I am sorry you got affected by all this.
Radiologist and surgeons shouldn't really have different opinions.  Radiologists look at the picture and should give proper possibilities to the referring doctors.  Then the referring doctor should take these possibilities and apply them carefully to his or her physical exam and laboratory work up and other history to come up with the plan.  If the surgeon after examining you did not feel that you have appendicitis on the clinical bases then it was his decision not to take you to surgery to find only a normal appendix.  perhaps he was right and you had an inflamed bowel and the appendix was affected by that process.  
Unfortunately, medicine is not an exact science, so if the pain returns and will not go away and the pain will be in the right spot and a physical exam and your blood work would all point to appendicitis then your surgeon will be comfortable taking you to surgery.
Hope this helps a bit.

Michael  

Radiology

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Michael K.

Expertise

Almost any kind of questions regarding any types of radiology exams, procedures, meaning of radiology reports etc...

Experience

12 year experience in the field of radiology

Organizations
American Society of Neuroradiology, Senior Member Society of Pediatric Radiology, Active Member

Publications
Radiology Seminars in pediatric neurology American Journal of Roentgenology American Journal of Neuroradiology

Education/Credentials
Board Certified in Diagnostic Radiology Additional Certificate of Qualification in Neuroradiology

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