How important is the one month follow up?

OK, so I love, love Dr. Hepworth, and think everybody in the world should see him for your Eagle related problems. But dang!

My one month follow up was supposed to be this Thursday. First time I’ve seen him since surgery. I got a call from his office today. The guy tells me that Dr. Hepworth won’t be in the office, and my appointment has to be changed. First he gets the day of my appointment wrong. Then, as he’s trying to reschedule, he thinks it’s a surgery appointment, and tried to transfer me to surgery scheduling. Then he schedules my one month follow up for October 13th – four months after my surgery and just two weeks before my second side procedure is scheduled!! I push back, probably not as politely as I should, but I am frustrated. He goes away for quite a while, and when he comes back he can suddenly schedule me for August 15th. Not ideal, but a whole lot better.

If I hadn’t pitched a fit, I would still be scheduled for October 13th.

I am so bummed! I had so many things I wanted to talk to him about – not only about surgery, but about the pelvic CT scan that he ordered back in mid-June, before my surgery, that I have never had the chance to discuss with him.

Has anybody else had problems like this? Is the follow up really so unimportant that it can be delayed for an additional three months?

Recovery is going about the same. Still cold sensation, but seems to be getting better. Still speech problems, still weird vagus symptoms. I saw a PT this morning.

Sorry, just need to vent among people who would understand!

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This sucks, but is definitely not uncommon in the world of overextended and under-resourced healthcare. Especially when you are dealing with one of the most sought after docs. Definitely advocate for yourself, but try to be flexible and look for the silver linings. A later follow-up will give you more time to equilibrate and might shift whatever you discuss away from any lingering but temporary symptoms. For what it’s worth, follow-ups in my country are after 3 months and often pushed back further than that or reduced to just a phone call. Hope you feel better soon!


Thanks for the reality check. I should be thankful for the system we have – it seems to work well MOST of the time!


I feel your pain. I’ve definitely had some communication issues with him. I do feel he wants to help and that he has some good people working with him. I don’t know if it’s just being that busy or poor organization skills but they have dropped the ball on some things with my case. Based on feedback here I do think he will eventually get me right and hopefully he does the same for you.


He does sound really busy & trying to cover so many other medical issues to be thorough, so not surprising that things are busy…UK follow-ups are 6 weeks after surgery, I didn’t get to see my surgeon for mine. Everyone I think who’s seen Dr H & his team mentions about how helpful one of the NPs is; would that be an option otherwise, they might be less busy & able to chase up other results for you?

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Hi @Bopper!

I’m sorry you’ve been put off for a bit. Frustrating when you have questions that need answers!

I found that the one week post op appt. was the most important for me. Since many of our members end up traveling some distance for their ES surgery(ies), the one month appt. ends up getting waived or is done by video so no physical exam can take place, but questions can still be asked.

As Jules suggested, seeing Dr. Hep’s PA might be worthwhile as you could potentially get in sooner & ask the questions you have & feel a bit more resolved about your recovery. It does seem like doctors are busier & more stressed since COVID. That bug sure has made things tough for everyone!

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