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Question About Surgery At Vamc?

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I am going to require hand surgery and was told by my pcp he don't know that much about this type of surgery and refered me to the VA hand surgeon they looked at it and told me to wait a couple years before having surgery (let it get worse)...this was couple years ago.

Now I have a new pcp and just had 6 month check up renewed meds ect,,ect,, I showed the new Dr my hand and told her it was bothering me and was a little sore having trouble washing my face and just using my right hand for anything...VA is not very experienced in what I need done and I'm affaid they will mess me up for good...my question is can I go to an outside hand surgeon specialist and get the VA to pay the Bill?

I have what they call Dupuytren's Contracture!

Anybody know?


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beep beep anybody???

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I would think if your new PCP can not get you an appointment with a VA hand surgeon within 30 days or if you live more than 40 miles away from the office of the VA hand specialist, you should be approved to go to an outside specialist under the new VA Choice program. Right now, with the holidays going on, it might be difficult for the VA to get you an appointment with a VA hand surgeon within 30 days. So this is a good time to make a request. JMO

Good luck.

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I'd bring your research on affliction with you to VA appointment http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dupuytrens-contracture/basics/treatment/con-20024378 and, if they are not familiar with it, request an outside referral.

At least try to get it in writing in your records why they refuse to treat it.

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Good info in NK's Mayo link.

Do you have any idea as to what caused your Dupuytren's Contracture?

Do you have diabetes or an autoimmune disease?

According to Mayo, both can lead to Dupuytren's Contracture.

Have the VA doctors offered you the enzyme injections?

According to Mayo, surgery for Dupuytren's Contracture will require months of intensive PT after surgery. If you go to an outside doctor for surgery, try to have the doctor also get outside PT approved so you do not have to depend on the VA for your PT.

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Speaking of appointments got a letter today to have an evaluation done on my hand at VAMC Dallas Tx, I seen them before about 2 years ago and I just did not like what they said...kinda de graded me and said my hand was not that bad BS... I can't straighten my fingers and my hand looks like a ducks foot the finger is fused together ..anyhow the Dr said it was 50/50 that I possibly could loose the use of that hand if I had surgery it may fix it and it may not my option of what to do. he was not so sure of himself....duh!!! Dallas VA is supposably the only hand specialist in the country!

..some surgerys are done with injections and then they break the cord and some surgerys are done with the kinfe...if they do it with the knife, I could lose all use of that hand and possibly my arm cutting tendons and what knott,

they say 3 options one is they neddle the bad part of the hand in hopes breaking the cord the other option is injecting emzymes into the area to weaken the cord so they can break it..the last option is the surgery.

I don't know what they may try?

as for as having diabetes no I don't think I have it I do have a immune diesease called preneious anmia my body will not produce my B-12 into my blood syetem I have to take injections monthly for that.

I don't have a clue what caused it no one in my family has it or ever had it that I know of?

it started out like caluses on my hand kotts rough knots then my fingers started bending inward I can't lay my hand flat on a flat smooth surface.

I think I'd need a second opinion outside opinion...see a hand speclialist ...I have the evaluation with my VAMC next Monday the 29th...I will go see maybe its a different Dr? ...IDK

Thanks N Kelly & Georgiapapa

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Do you recall the name of the first VA hand surgeon who evaluated your hand?

Go on the VAMC Dallas website and check the listings for ortho doctors to see if your old VA hand surgeon is still listed. Hopefully, he is no longer there and you will get a competent evaluation from a more qualified hand surgeon. If you are not happy with the evaluation and the doctor's recommendation, I would ask your PCP for an outside referral for a second opinion. If this does not happen, you can try e-mailing Bob for assistance. JMO

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