Author Topic: Excision and decompression surgery with Dr. Ducic at Georgetown  (Read 7166 times)

Mei Mei

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 ;D

I thought I'd start a new thread as this surgery started a new chapter in my life.

My surgery with Dr. Ducic had been scheduled for over a month now and this follows a cancellation of the Feb 16th surgery with Dr. Niparko insisting not to do this and practice Yoga instead.   Well yoga just didn't help and I got even worse headaches with it that ended me up in the local emergency room.  `I rescheduled and had to wait 6 weeks to get it done this time.

I know the results of the Myofacial release Therapy were fantastic and I no longer had headaches, but I still had horrifice pain on touching my scalp that was full of pins and needles and upon touching it would be extremely painful.   I couldn't even run a comb or brush through it or go to the beauty parly to get it blow dried.   I also had trouble turning my head to back up the car.  I remember asking when the pins and needles went away and Jim replied that they went away between 8 months to a year and one person said he didn't have them at all.  When I first went to see Dr. Ducic back in January 2011, he said the nerves were damaged and it took me awhile to accept that, but nothing else worked.   I had four neurosurgeons tell me to do the excisions and agreed that they were damaged and so did my nurse practitioner and Myofacial release therapist.  At least he got rid of the headaches, but there was more to do.   He even was massaging for release the nerves on my first rib where I never felt pain and when he touched them it was terribly painful.   He said this was from my neck and occipital area so I was all tensed up in spite of no longer having headaches.   He also said that I keep leaning forward with my head to listen because of my deafness so we've practiced keeping my head straight up and tilting my head down without moving forward.   I really am looking forward to getting a Sonnitus in Sept from the GW Hearing Center.   Now I am wandering but this is all related.

The immediate results of the surgery was that the pins and needles on the scalp were GONE but I still had normal sensation when I scratched my scalp.   I was thrilled with this.   When Dr. Ducic came into the pre-op area, he asked where it hurt the most and marked it for surgery and upon leaving he said he was trying to avoid taking out the mesh which I found out from Dr. Fred Schwartz in Chevy Chase was a very difficult procedure because the mesh has large holes in it and the scar tissue and brain had grown together with it, so I don't want to go through as from what they told me would be the last resort.

Dr. Ducic also said it would take about two weeks to get the full result and I have an appointment to come in to see him in three weeks.   The chief resident came in to see me and told me Dr. Ducic had to remove a lot of scar tissue before he proceeded with the rest of the surgery.   It took about two hours and I woke up in recovery without the usual vomiting as the anesthesiologist was super and used a fiber optic scope to monitor.  I was intubated so my throat is still a bit sore.  

The nerves that were excised were the Greater and lesser occipital and the dorsal occipital.   Dr. Moriarity said he just published an article on the excision and decompression in the Journal of Plastic Surgery so now there is more documentation that this is not an experimental procedure.   My United Heathcare pre-approved it with no copay.   Hooray!!!

Well I can't tell you how happy I am this morning with the result and am anxious to getting started with the rest of my life of good health.   Next on the list is to get the cast taken off from my broken hand when I fell down a flight of stairs once again and broke my left hand.   I found out you really need your hearing for balance, so next on the list is to get the Sonnitus hearing aide at the GW Hearing Center.

Anyway, this morning I am just thrilled that I did this and give three cheers for Dr. Ducic.

Hugs to all,
Mei Mei
1 cm Tumor RetrosigmoidSurgery on Jan 12 at Johns Hopkins
Drs. Niparko and Tamargo
35dB loss pre surgery and now SSD
Post surgical Headaches and Tinnitus
Dr Ducic Georgetown Excision Surgery May 2011
Dr. Schwartz GW  Titanium Mesh  March 2012
Drs Kalhorn/Baker, Georgetown Removal of Titanium Mesh

Jim Scott

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Re: Excision and decompression surgery with Dr. Ducic at Georgetown
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2011, 11:32:33 am »
Mei Mei ~

Congratulations on your successful scalp/nerve surgery!  I'm delighted to learn that you've lost yet another source of discomfort.  I'm just so pleased when another AN patient finds relief for long-standing conditions that affected their quality of life, as yours have...until now.  :)  Indeed, three cheers for Doctor Duci - and another three for you, Mei Mei! 

Jim
4.5 cm AN diagnosed 5/06.  Retrosigmoid surgery 6/06.  Follow-up FSR completed 10/06.  Tumor shrinkage & necrosis noted on last MRI.  Life is good. 

Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is.  The way we cope with it is what makes the difference.

Janet

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Re: Excision and decompression surgery with Dr. Ducic at Georgetown
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2011, 11:07:18 pm »
Hi Mei Mei,

I am happy to hear that you are feeling relief following surgery.  I am so grateful that Dr Ducic has specialized in cleaning up damaged nerves following surgeries. It is hard to find someone that can do this delicate surgery. My quality of life improved following his surgery. I went to Mexico last month and went zip-lining and para-sailing. I know that doing that type of activity would have been unthinkable prior to having surgery. 

His research can be found at this government website.     http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=%22Ducic%20I%22%5BAuthor%5D

Best wishes for a quick recovery!

Janet
Surgical removal of 1 cm x .8 cm x .6 AN on 4/2004.

Mei Mei

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Re: Excision and decompression surgery with Dr. Ducic at Georgetown
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2011, 08:16:45 am »
Thank you, Janet.    I am so happy ever since I woke up in the recovery room.  He is a really caring and skillful person.   I still have some pressure in my neck and sub occipital area and hope that this will go away in time since the surgery only happened 5 days ago.   He said he was hoping that this would take care of it and that we do not have to have the mesh removed.

I'm so happy to hear that you have regained an active life filled with fun and the things you love doing.

Hugs,
Mei Mei
1 cm Tumor RetrosigmoidSurgery on Jan 12 at Johns Hopkins
Drs. Niparko and Tamargo
35dB loss pre surgery and now SSD
Post surgical Headaches and Tinnitus
Dr Ducic Georgetown Excision Surgery May 2011
Dr. Schwartz GW  Titanium Mesh  March 2012
Drs Kalhorn/Baker, Georgetown Removal of Titanium Mesh

moe

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Re: Excision and decompression surgery with Dr. Ducic at Georgetown
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2011, 08:28:51 am »
Mei Mei,
Fanatastic news! (except for the broken hand :o). You have been through sooo much and it is so good that you are seeing relief, finally.
I will keep praying for you that the pain does not reoccur.
Cheers ;D
Maureen
06/06-Translab 3x2.5 vascular L AN- MAMC,Tacoma WA
Facial nerve cut,reanastomosed.Tarsorrhaphy
11/06. Gold weight,tarsorrhaphy reversed
01/08- nerve transposition-(12/7) UW Hospital, Seattle
5/13/10 Gracilis flap surgery UW for smile restoration :)
11/10/10 BAHA 2/23/11 brow lift/canthoplasty

staypoz

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Re: Excision and decompression surgery with Dr. Ducic at Georgetown
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2011, 12:14:20 pm »
Congratulations, Mei Mei.  I hope this does the trick for you!  Keep healing!

staypoz

Mei Mei

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Re: Excision and decompression surgery with Dr. Ducic at Georgetown
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2011, 06:10:12 pm »
Thanks, Trish.
I felt the difference as soon as I reached over to my scalp and touched it in the recovery room.   There are no more pins and needles and stinging when I touch it.   The neck still hurts from the work on taking out the adhesions, but I fell 90% better.  He told me it should take a couple of weeks to feel the effect.   The resident said she observed him do 5 in a row the other day.


He's a really good doctor and I'm lucky I didn't have to travel too far to get to Georgetown.

Hope you're feeling better, too.
Hugs,
Mei Mei
1 cm Tumor RetrosigmoidSurgery on Jan 12 at Johns Hopkins
Drs. Niparko and Tamargo
35dB loss pre surgery and now SSD
Post surgical Headaches and Tinnitus
Dr Ducic Georgetown Excision Surgery May 2011
Dr. Schwartz GW  Titanium Mesh  March 2012
Drs Kalhorn/Baker, Georgetown Removal of Titanium Mesh

Denise S

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Re: Excision and decompression surgery with Dr. Ducic at Georgetown
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2011, 06:18:14 pm »
Mei Mei, I think of you so often and wondering how you are doing now.   Do you notice any relief yet from the surgery?   I know the occipital nerve on my right side (opposite of where my middle fossa surgery was) is where a lot of my head & neck pain is coming from.    I had an injection that helped, but only lasted a few weeks.  I got approved for botox injections and scheduled to go the end of next week.   

Hopefully things are working out for you!!!  ~HUGS~

Denise (MI)
W&W 2 yrs. (due to watching other brain tumor: it's stable)
Left AN:  1.2 cm (kept growing during 2 yr.)MIDDLE FOSSA  11/9/09;  Michigan Ear Institute Dr. Zappia & Pieper
SSD, mild tinnitus, delayed onset of facial paralysis lasting 3-4 weeks, no tears AN side
BAHA surgery 10/2/12 Dr Daniels G.R.,MI

Mei Mei

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Re: Excision and decompression surgery with Dr. Ducic at Georgetown
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2011, 07:45:46 pm »
Yes, it helped quite a bit.   I have no pins and needles up the surgery side of the scalp, but still have them below the incision and down the neck.   Am getting my stitches out tomorrow and will report back what he says to do next.

Hope you are feeling better.
Love,
Mei Mei
1 cm Tumor RetrosigmoidSurgery on Jan 12 at Johns Hopkins
Drs. Niparko and Tamargo
35dB loss pre surgery and now SSD
Post surgical Headaches and Tinnitus
Dr Ducic Georgetown Excision Surgery May 2011
Dr. Schwartz GW  Titanium Mesh  March 2012
Drs Kalhorn/Baker, Georgetown Removal of Titanium Mesh

Mei Mei

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Re: Excision and decompression surgery with Dr. Ducic at Georgetown
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2011, 05:32:48 pm »
Dear Forumites,
Well friends, the light is at the end of the tunnel.  I went to see Dr. Ducic at Georgetown today and his nurse took out my stitches today from the May 26th surgery to excise all of my Occipital nerves.  It was a success from the relief I felt in the recovery room while waking up.   I'm a pro at receiving surgery and this was the happiest wake up I've had of all of them.   I wish that I wasn't a pro at receiving surgery, but I am.   Surgery causes complications that you don't want.  Thanks be to God that there is Dr. Ducic to save you from this mess that follows.   He told me to come back in Sept. so wait for my posts on Sept 16.  Nothing is perfect in life or in surgery.  I found great relief from Dr. Ducic's surgery.   There still are problems with the area beneath the incision.  It's still numb and full of pins and needles below the incision and on the surgery side of the neck.   He said it is early and I look forward to September and what he has to say.   I can start exercising after a week and back to Myofacial Release PT after one week but I have chosen to wait for a month so as to err on the side of caution.   My only wish is that Dr. Niparko would not be so defensive about Johns Hopkins and getting so upset about the doctor he's "never heard of " and wanting name lists from his Johns Hopkins patients.   If he would only listen, medicine would not be an art but a science.   We need to listen to the postoperative experience instead of putting our head in the soil.   At Johns Hopkins ENT, they have their heads in the soil.

Hugs to all of my Forumites,
Mei Mei
1 cm Tumor RetrosigmoidSurgery on Jan 12 at Johns Hopkins
Drs. Niparko and Tamargo
35dB loss pre surgery and now SSD
Post surgical Headaches and Tinnitus
Dr Ducic Georgetown Excision Surgery May 2011
Dr. Schwartz GW  Titanium Mesh  March 2012
Drs Kalhorn/Baker, Georgetown Removal of Titanium Mesh

Jim Scott

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Re: Excision and decompression surgery with Dr. Ducic at Georgetown
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2011, 01:33:27 pm »
Mei Mei ~

As you know, I've been following your journey to pain relief for some time and you have been in my prayers.  Apparently, prayers are being answered.  Needless to say, I'm delighted to learn that you really can see that elusive, metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel.  :)  Congratulations!

Jim
4.5 cm AN diagnosed 5/06.  Retrosigmoid surgery 6/06.  Follow-up FSR completed 10/06.  Tumor shrinkage & necrosis noted on last MRI.  Life is good. 

Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is.  The way we cope with it is what makes the difference.

Mei Mei

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Re: Excision and decompression surgery with Dr. Ducic at Georgetown
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2011, 01:44:07 pm »
Thank you, Jim.   It's always nice knowing you're out there.

Sincerely,
Mei Mei
1 cm Tumor RetrosigmoidSurgery on Jan 12 at Johns Hopkins
Drs. Niparko and Tamargo
35dB loss pre surgery and now SSD
Post surgical Headaches and Tinnitus
Dr Ducic Georgetown Excision Surgery May 2011
Dr. Schwartz GW  Titanium Mesh  March 2012
Drs Kalhorn/Baker, Georgetown Removal of Titanium Mesh

Denise S

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Re: Excision and decompression surgery with Dr. Ducic at Georgetown
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2011, 07:17:15 pm »
Well Mei Mei, it does maybe sound like light at the end of the tunnel.   I am SO GLAD that it does seem to be helping.   Now do the nerves eventually grow back, or is there that chance?     I am a long ways off from going that route, so far injections "may" be helping me some.

Are you still waking up with headaches in the night, or is that better?  Sure hope better!   Wanting to hear of more pain free days!!

 ;D Denise (MI)
W&W 2 yrs. (due to watching other brain tumor: it's stable)
Left AN:  1.2 cm (kept growing during 2 yr.)MIDDLE FOSSA  11/9/09;  Michigan Ear Institute Dr. Zappia & Pieper
SSD, mild tinnitus, delayed onset of facial paralysis lasting 3-4 weeks, no tears AN side
BAHA surgery 10/2/12 Dr Daniels G.R.,MI

Mei Mei

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Re: Excision and decompression surgery with Dr. Ducic at Georgetown
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2011, 07:40:14 pm »
 ;D   No, no more headaches during the night.   I am starting a new chapter in my life.

After cutting the nerves, he implanted them into the muscle to prevent this.  That's what he said and I have to trust at this point that he is good to his word.   If they grow back, he'll be hearing from me.

Keep me informed as to how things go with you.
Mei Mei
1 cm Tumor RetrosigmoidSurgery on Jan 12 at Johns Hopkins
Drs. Niparko and Tamargo
35dB loss pre surgery and now SSD
Post surgical Headaches and Tinnitus
Dr Ducic Georgetown Excision Surgery May 2011
Dr. Schwartz GW  Titanium Mesh  March 2012
Drs Kalhorn/Baker, Georgetown Removal of Titanium Mesh

Lupy

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Re: Excision and decompression surgery with Dr. Ducic at Georgetown
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2011, 08:11:07 pm »
Wow Mei Mei. Congratulations! And I really wanted to take this space to say thank you for giving me, and I assume others here something immeasurably precious - hope!  :)
“Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved” S. Kierkegaard

2.5cm Tumour removed 1/7/2009
Retrosigmoid @ The Royal Melbourne
Debilitating headaches/migraines from 2 weeks post surgery till current.