A complaint to the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission about Dr Andrew J Brooks, Urologist

I wish to make a complaint about Dr Andrew J Brooks, Urologist, to whom I was referred for help with the “frequency problem,” (I was having to get up 2 or 3 times a night to urinate,) on two grounds. Firstly, that as the result of the treatment he recommended and carried out on me, a TURP operation, I was damaged FOR LIFE in a highly personal way, it can’t be reversed. And secondly, his treatment didn’t work, didn’t help in any way.

The first, in more detail.

As a result of his treatment the semen I produced during sex was no longer ejected through my penis as used to happen, with all the pleasure that gave, (as any adult male would understand,) it just went up into my bladder. And it was FOR LIFE, it can’t be reversed.

It happened to me, but I’ve been told that it’s general knowledge that it’s ALWAYS a consequence of TURP operations, ALWAYS. (If it’s not accepted by the Commission and/or Dr Brooks, that this is general knowledge, please let me know – I’m sure I could easily get other Urologists to confirm this.)

AND, although I’m sure Dr Brooks will claim otherwise, he did not warn me of this in any way before he operated on me.

I would assume that I signed a consent to the operation, but that it wouldn’t have been on what basis – if it’s claimed otherwise, could I please have a copy. And Dr Brooks wouldn’t have anything else in writing to confirm that he had warned me of this.

The ONLY thing he could claim was that a conversation something like this took place.

Dr Brooks: “Now, you fully understand don’t you, that you will be subject to an operation under a full anaesthetic that always has it’s risks, that you will spend 48 uncomfortable hours in the hospital, that you will be out-of-pocket for more than $6,000, for my fee of $3,200 for less than an hour’s work and the hospital’s charges, even after Medicare rebates, and that one of the consequences of this operation will be that your semen will no longer be ejaculated through your penis, it will just go up into your bladder, it doesn’t just happen sometimes, it always happens, and it can’t be reversed, it will be for the rest of your life. And there’s a 20% chance that my treatment won’t work to help with your “frequency problem” at all.” (About which more later.)

Me: “Oh yes, Doctor. Anything so I don’t have to get up 2 or 3 times a night to go to the toilet.”

The second, in more detail.

The treatment I got for my “frequency problem” didn’t work!!! Dr Brooks has conceded this himself in writing.

On 9 September, 2014, nearly a month after my operation, he wrote to my GP, “He still has significant frequency and urgency.” And on 18 November, 2014, more than 3 months after the operation, “Unfortunately the frequency and urgency is not resolved.”

Incidentally, I never had an “urgency” problem – this was a figment of Dr Brooks’ imagination, an example of how careless and lax he was, of which there were many.

He had an explanation as to why it didn’t work. In his 9 September letter he explained, “In the face of outflow obstruction there are changes of the bladder wall which significantly reduce the compliance and explain the low functional capacity, the frequency and the urgency. In 80% of cases these revolve after successful removal of the outflow obstruction, but it can take six months to resolve. The majority of the resolution occurs within the first three months.” But it doesn’t change in any way that it hadn’t worked.

And this is the first time he’d mentioned that it didn’t work 20% or the time, always – nearly a month after his operation, he’d never mentioned it before.

But who’s to say that it ever worked? I would have thought the onus on him to establish that it ever worked.

So it’s up to the Commission to decide whether it’s acceptable for a doctor to put patients through what Dr Brooks put me through,¬†an operation under a full anaesthetic that always has it’s risks, 48 uncomfortable hours in hospital, and expenditure of more than $6,000 for his fee of $3,200 for less than an hour’s work and the hospital’s charges, even after Medicare rebates, to help with a relatively minor problem, the “frequency problem,” when, in addition to the fact that it damages them for life in a highly personal way, it can’t be reversed, and when he knows, and admits himself, that it doesn’t work in 1 case in 5, with no evidence that it ever works, of which he doesn’t warn the patients in any way.

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