Our Story Part 3
Lies and deceit from a glib Eye Care for Animals veterinary team
On April 18, eight days after the surgery, Sisler examined Peanut and told us that the ulcer had worsened since Gaerig saw him three days prior. He puts in two temporary stitches (one in each corner of Peanut’s eyelids) to allow him to close his eye over the swollen conjunctiva. He confirms that the swelling is due to silicone oil that has leaked into the conjunctiva. Sisler tells us that the silicone oil that is placed in the cavity behind the lens is intended to hold the retina in place while it heals from being reattached.
Given that Peanut’s ulcer had gotten worse since our visit with Gaerig three days prior, we asked Sisler why he did not err on the side of caution when we first contacted him about the swollen conjunctiva on April 13. He said “well, if I told everyone to come in when they noticed something unusual, then everyone would be coming in and burning through their prepaid recheck visits when most of the time it’s nothing.”
That statement by him is an early example of treating Peanut like a standard “textbook” case when the silicone oil leakage made his situation anything but standard.
At this time, Sisler does not tell us the true cause of the silicone oil leakage (his own error during surgery). That truth will come out later. At this point we are led to believe the silicone oil in the conjunctiva is simply an overflow issue.
He then tells us two lies:
1. He tells us that the silicone oil will eventually absorb into the body. He will continue to tell this lie for weeks and lead us to believe this problem will eventually go away. In retrospect, this seems to have been a delay tactic to prevent us from thinking about stopping payment on our credit card or contacting the CEO of Eye Care for Animals. Grammar school science tells us that oil and water don’t mix, but we trusted our three doctors on this point. Sisler’s own notes in the recheck bulletin state “Over time, the silicone oil will redistribute and swelling will decrease.” Since Dr. Gaerig was not trained to perform retina surgery and Dr. Hsu was training as a resident with Sisler, it is no surprise they both shared his view.
2. He explains that until the oil does reabsorb the issue is only a cosmetic one. How can an issue that already caused one ulcer that required antibiotics to treat be called merely cosmetic?
Sisler made an attempt to remove the silicone oil without success. He indicated that he has never been successful when trying to remove silicone oil in the past. This means he had made this mistake in the past; but as of this date, Sisler has not admitted to us that his error caused this problem.
Ten days later, on April 28, we learned that Peanut’s ulcer was finally healing. We told Sisler that the area of silicone oil leakage seemed to be growing and expanding his conjunctiva even further. Sisler continued to be glib on this subject — dismissing our concerns and emphasizing that the healed ulcer was good news.