Author Topic: Laura's 7/11 appointment  (Read 7157 times)

lholl36233

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Re: Laura's 7/11 appointment
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2008, 05:53:22 pm »
Hello,

It's been awhile.  I noticed the hearing in my left ear was not as loud as the hearing in my right so I made an appointment with my ENT, Dr. Gacek.  That was today.

Based on the hearing test, it dropped slightly in the left ear.  As anyone in MA knows, we had a big ice storm.  Dr. Gacek couldn't make it because a tree was down in his driveway so I saw another ENT Dr. Shao.  Poor Dr. Shao didn't have the backstory Dr. Gacek and the neurosurgeon Dr. Moser do.  I filled him in as best I could.  He brought up surgery.  He said he's done it before with great success and that due to my young age of 36 (that's funny), I could bounce back quickly.  Dr. Shao said that even though it's not an AN, a hemangioma is still a tumor and the surgery would still be similar to what many of you have gone through.

I'm on another round of prednisone but we'll see what happens when Dr. Shao talks to Dr. Gacek and Dr. Moser....

Proton Radiation for my hemangioma at MGH December 2009.  Hearing has improved.  Doing great!

leapyrtwins

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Re: Laura's 7/11 appointment
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2008, 08:34:48 pm »

Thanks for the update, Laura.  It'll be interesting to see what the 3 docs decide; please let us know.

Surgery, while not a really pleasant experience, isn't all that bad - I can say that in hindsight.  And, God forbid I had to do it again, I would.

I'd take 36 again - sounds young to me  ;D  I've got 11 years on you.  As Lori would say "Now that's old"  :o LOL

Jan
Retrosig 5/31/07 Drs. Battista & Kazan (Hinsdale, Illinois)
Left AN 3.0 cm (1.5 cm @ diagnosis 6 wks prior) SSD. BAHA implant 3/4/08 (Dr. Battista) Divino 6/4/08  BP100 4/2010 BAHA 5 8/2015

I don't actually "make" trouble..just kind of attract it, fine tune it, and apply it in new and exciting ways

lholl36233

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Re: Laura's 7/11 appointment
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2009, 05:23:02 pm »
Hi,

I had a follow up appointment with Dr. Gacek today.  On 12/12, their was a slight drop in the hearing in the left ear.  After a megadose of prednisone, the hearing didn't change.  Dr. Gacek said that means there was no swelling for the prednisone to bring down this time.  That makes sense to me.

Because I have no symptoms other than the tinnitus and hearing loss, Dr. Gacek doesn't want to rush into surgery.  I'm having another MRI and CT scheduled which I"m sure will be in the next few weeks once insurance approves it.  We'll see what Dr. Gacek says when he sees those results...

Laura
Proton Radiation for my hemangioma at MGH December 2009.  Hearing has improved.  Doing great!

lholl36233

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Re: Laura's 7/11 appointment
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2009, 05:00:46 pm »
Hi,
Dr. Gacek gave me the results of the MRI and CT today.  The first thing he said walking through the door was, "There was no change since the last MRI and CT."  That says to me he looked at the tests before he saw me.  That is better than Dr. Lee did.
He called my tumor a chondroma.  That is a new one on me.
I got an education is reading the CT scan from Dr. Gacek.  He said the tumor is surrounded by bone which he believes would keep it from expanding to the brain stem.  I thought that was interesting.
So, if the hearing doesn't get worse and I don't develop balance issues or facial weakness, I'll see him in six months.
If you're in central MA and need an ENT, I would highly recommend Dr. Richard Gacek at UMASS in Worcester.  He is a brilliant doctor and very nice man.   :)
Proton Radiation for my hemangioma at MGH December 2009.  Hearing has improved.  Doing great!

CF

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Re: Laura's 7/11 appointment
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2009, 12:44:18 pm »
Hi, Laura. Was curious (or anyone who might know, please feel free to respond), Dr. Shao's name came up in a conversation I had with another ENT as a potential referral, but he described him as a neurotologist, which I thought is what is needed for treating AN's. I just checked the UMASS website and he's listed as an ENT but has "clincial interests" in neurotology, with a Fellowship from Paparella Ear Institute (Otology/Neurotology). Does anyone know if Dr. Shao's credentials appropriately equip him for seeing patient's with ANs? I'm wondering if I should be seeing him (or not).

Here's the page I found ...

http://www.umassmemorial.org/medicalcenterIP.cfm?xyzpdqabc=0&id=1377&action=detail&ref=1781

Pooter

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Re: Laura's 7/11 appointment
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2009, 01:51:51 pm »
CF,

I took a quick look and it would seem that Dr. Shao is Board Certified in Otolaryngology.  So, to be sure, I looked up that word and found:

"Otolaryngology or ENT (ear, nose and throat) is the branch of medicine that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of ear, nose, throat, and head and neck disorders. The full name of the specialty is otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. Practitioners are called otolaryngologists-head and neck surgeons, or sometimes otorhinolaryngologists (ORL). "  Found here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otolaryngology.

It's also listed as one of his adult specialties.  Based on that, I would say that he's suffiently qualified to treat people with AN's.  If I am not mistaken, one of my treating doctors was a Otolaryngologist also (had a neurosurgeon that worked with him as well).

Sure sounds like you're in the right place.

Regards,
Brian
Diagnosed 4/10/08 - 3cm Right AN
12hr retrosig 5/8/08 w/Drs Vrabec and Trask in Houston, Tx
Some facial paralysis post-op but most movement is back, some tinitus.  SSD on right.
Story documented here:  http://briansbrainbooger.blogspot.com/

"I must be having fun all wrong!"  - Roger Creager

CF

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Re: Laura's 7/11 appointment
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2009, 02:01:53 pm »
Thank you very much Brian! What a relief!!!

FYI Your post prompted me to search further and I found this Q&A below

 :) :)

Quote
(from http://www.houseearclinic.com/acousticneuromaFAQ.htm )


What type of doctor should I be consulting about my acoustic neuroma?


Ideally, a neurosurgeon or neuro-otologic surgeon who has experience with the treatment of acoustic neuromas should be consulted. Many specialized teams exist at several centers around the country who have the necessary experience and frequently treat patients with acoustic neuromas. These are difficult problems that are best handled by an experienced, multidisciplinary team in order to provide the best chance for a good outcome. It is important to find out the level of experience of the physician that is consulted. Patients should not be bashful in asking how many acoustic neuromas the doctor has treated within the past year, or in the past five to ten years, and what the results of that treatment were. Patients should expect to receive specific answers based on a review of the physician's own personal data. It is important to find out the physician's personal results with preservation of facial nerve function, hearing preservation, and the incidence of other major complications with either surgery or radiosurgery. Patients should probably be wary if a surgeon does not have easily produced statistical results (this usually means that he/she does not frequently treat these tumors). Likewise, patients should be wary of being treated by a physician who only occasionally treats this complicated problem.

Is this a tumor that any general neurosurgeon or otolaryngologist should be treating?


Again, the experience of the surgeon and sub-specialty training influences outcome to a tremendous degree. Patients should seek out an experienced team who frequently treats these tumors and can give sound advice based upon adequate experience.

Cheryl R

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Re: Laura's 7/11 appointment
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2009, 04:05:30 pm »
The neurotologist at Univ of Iowa is the head of the Otolaryngology dept.       So there is a connection.
                                                           Cheryl R   
Right mid fossa 11-01-01
  left tumor found 5-03,so have NF2
  trans lab for right facial nerve tumor
  with nerve graft 3-23-06
   CSF leak revision surgery 4-07-06
   left mid fossa 4-17-08
   near deaf on left before surgery
   with hearing much improved .
    Univ of Iowa for all care

 


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