Pennington Resident Gets Personalized Care for Gall Bladder Condition
"Through the excellent care I received, I have become a ‘raving fan’ of Capital Health and especially the care of Dr. Steven Johnson.”
This was the first time that Eric Wells felt extreme pain beneath his sternum and upper abdomen. He thought he was having a heart attack, and the pain was so bad that, on January 4, 2012, he detoured from his regular trip to the gym to the emergency room at Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell.
“I could barely speak because of the extreme pain. I had thought I was having a major heart attack. I received excellent Emergency Room care, and after about four hours, the pain subsided. I underwent CT scanning and an ultrasound but both tests were inconclusive. Before I knew it, it sounded as though I needed to have my gall bladder removed, but the on-call surgeon would have to first confirm that the procedure was safe to proceed,” Eric said.
A 45-year-old Pennington resident with a wife and two children, Eric is an IT manager for a consulting firm. As an avid runner, he is also in excellent health, so not only did the idea of surgery come as a surprise but it also caused concern about how this would affect his personal and professional lives.
That’s when he met Dr. Steven Johnson, Medical Director of Surgery and Surgical Critical Care at Capital Health Medical Center- Hopewell. A surgeon with Advanced Surgical Associates of New Jersey, Dr. Johnson is fellowship trained in trauma and surgical critical care and is double board certified in general surgery and surgical critical care.
“From the moment I met Dr. Johnson, I began to feel confident that I was receiving the best possible care. He did not just look at the results. He took the time to listen to me and ask me follow-up questions so that he could fully understand my history,” Eric said. “I guess the easy route most surgeons would take would be to just go forward with the surgery, but he wanted to be sure. He provided me with excellent information and set me up with further testing so that we could fully understand the situation since there were additional digestive tract issues I had brought up.”
Tests were needed to confirm that surgery was a safe option since Eric had other symptoms that would have potentially excluded surgery on the gall bladder. And because Dr. Johnson knew that there might be painful flare ups from the gall bladder while waiting for test results, he even provided Eric with his cell phone number so that Eric could call him directly if he had further attacks.
“I actually had to use it once while I was out shopping for furniture and he answered immediately and we talked through what was happening and how to make the pain subside,” Eric said. “The personal care that he provided was unlike anything I ever experienced and it really made the difference.”
After consulting with Dr. Jason Rogart (director of Interventional Gastroenterology and Therapeutic Endoscopy at the Capital Health Center for Digestive Health), testing confirmed that there was nothing else wrong and they were able to safely move forward with laparoscopic cholecystectomy or gall bladder surgery. The operation went smoothly and Dr. Johnson was able to remove the inflamed gall bladder, which had stones in it.
“I am 100 percent clear on exactly what caused my issue, what caused my pain and lack of pain, what action was done to rule out other possibilities, and what I could expect post operation. After two weeks, I felt 100 percent back to normal,” Eric said.
In the IT profession, Eric trains his team of engineers to focus on customer service and tries to encourage them to turn their clients into what he calls “raving fans,” which are clients who will go out and rave about the quality of support they provide.
“Through the excellent care I received, I have become a ‘raving fan’ of Capital Health and especially the care of Dr. Steven Johnson. Although this was the first time I have received care at a hospital, I have been around hospitals enough to understand quality of service. Dr. Johnson is the real deal. He is knowledgeable, he is confident, he cares, and he has a positive yet realistic demeanor,” Eric said.
“Thank you to Capital Health for recruiting such a capable individual. I appreciate being able to receive such high quality care in my hometown, instead of having to travel to Philadelphia and New York,” he said.