Mr Neil Roberts is a cardiac surgeon specialising in all aspects of adult cardiac surgery. please see his full profile on www.mrneilroberts.com
As one of Jehovah's Witnesses I already made the decision not to have any blood transfusions or blood products. My heart failure was due to having cancer 3 times and radiotherapy which 10 years after my last treatment (2002) gave me sever heart failure (Jan 2012) 4 years on (Feb 2016) I needed the mitral value repairing. On my first 20 mins consultation Mr Roberts gave us 1 hour. He listened patently and asked caring questions. He was so good that my confidence in him was built immediately. He was so kind and understanding too. Although it would be a difficult operation with some possible complications he was up for the challenge and assured me he would need to take extra care and put a number of things in place in case. I was prepared and being honest not worried. After the operation I saw him smiling and asked what happened. He stated all the things in place were not needed as I sailed through the operation and no blood was used nor needed. I praise him and his team and my care was of the highest level anyone could ask for. I rate it 100%. I am so appreciative of all he has and his team have done for me and continues to do for many others. My wife and I thank you from my deepest heartfelt gratitude.
Mr Neil Roberts performed a quad bypass on me in 2011, everything was text book and I was back working again after 8 weeks, 5 years on and I am still working and feeling good.
Mr Roberts from the first consultation was open, systematic and made no assumptions or quick categorisation. He impressed me with the way he listened carefully to my answers and gave me time to express myself in my own terms even though these were layman's rather than experts. Not only is he very approachable but as soon as I met his staff I realised he had put together a very close and effective team so that all aspects from admission to final discharge were managed well by his group even though there are aspects of the ward care which could be improved. I can only judge by my experience which was that Mr Roberts not only delivered high quality surgery but was a valuable source of confidence building during my recovery, not "laying down the law" but explaining in terms I could understand the pharmacology of the medicines prescribed and the way my body was reacting to its time on the heart lung machine. What could be improved? The pamphlet on the operation available from the hospital is very general and it would have built greater confidence to have carried away from the initial consultation a personal timetable outlining the whole process from finding an admission date to discharge from his care. That would have helped patient and carer to understand better their role and the part they need to play in a speedy and successful recovery. The discharge processes needs to be improved - co-ordination and delivery of instructions for care at home. Mr Roberts himself was wonderfully responsive to email questions and to follow-up check ups and this provided valuable reassurance during what otherwise seemed a complex set of prescriptions to manage and physiotherapy to practice at home.
I am a medical researcher who is not a medic. I would therefore never trust any doctor totally - they can all make mistakes and medicine is a less precise technology than, say, engineering. That said, my experience of being given a triple by-pass by Neil Roberts was excellent. Technically the operation appeared to go extremely well, and certainly an echocardiogram done several months post-operation showed the heart to be functioning very well. Also I had very little, if any, pain post-operatively and no post-operative confusion. I was also very impressed by two other aspects of the care I received from Neil Roberts. First, I was particularly concerned about research, I knew of, published ten years ago that indicated that heart surgery conducted in the 80s and 90s could lead to cognitive impairment in quite a high proportion of cases. Neil Roberts explained to me very clearly before the operation, why advances in technique over the intervening twenty years had made the risk of such side effects much lower. And I certainly had no such complications even as early as after recovery from the general anaesthetic. Secondly Mr Roberts and his anaesthetist both called in to check my progress on a daily basis following the operation. I found their manner both very supportive and highly professional.