Author Topic: USC Treatment Experience  (Read 3134 times)


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USC Treatment Experience
« on: April 07, 2014, 06:27:02 pm »
I became ill in late 2013 with crazy headaches only no one could explain why I was suffering.…the neurosurgeons were stumped.  Ultimately, Dr. Benjamin Emanuel took a brain scan and found an acoustic neuroma (brain tumor) in my left inner ear involving the sheath of the 8th cranial nerve.   We assumed the cause of my headaches was uncovered….we were wrong.   Dr. Emanuel called me the next day explaining that the tumor he found causes a very different headache than I was experiencing.  He did a spinal tap the next day which revealed I had spiral meningitis.  It took a few months but I got past this ailment and we were able to focus on the tumor.   Ten years earlier, Dr. Dennis Maceri, MD, FACS, Professor, Otolaryngology, USC Keck, took care of my thyroid cancer and I have been cancer free and healthy ever since so I went directly to him for advice.  Dennis told me that USC had the best ear nose & throat/neurosurgeon team in the business for my condition.   

He was right!  He introduced me to Dr Rick Friedman, MD, PhD, Director of Otology, Neurology and Skull Base Surgery, USC Keck and Dr Steven Giannotta, MD, FACS, Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery, USC Keck. They are possibly the most experienced team in the world when dealing with an acoustic neuroma – my particular situation.  They explained the various treatment options and we decided to remove the tumor before it grew any larger and took any more of my hearing.   I was scared and more than a little nervous.  The USC Keck team made sure I understood the entire process….my pre-surgery planning, the anticipated hospital stay,  my early at home prognosis and my ultimate return to normality.  They prepared me for everything…well almost everything…except the quick speed of my recovery.  Dr. Rick Friedman did not even recognize me the morning after the surgery.  I was out of bed, having breakfast and chatting with my ICU nurse.  It required a double take to for him to realize his patient was doing so well less than 16 hours after brain surgery…but that’s how good they are! 

I spent a single night in ICU and only two additional nights in the hospital.  After spending an hour with the rehab specialist, I was OK-ed for release.   My recovery was much faster than I ever anticipated and I owe it all to Dr's Friedman and Giannotta,  their teams, and the entire USC Keck Medical staff….they really are the best!  I was back working full time in two weeks and back in the gym in less than four weeks.  In fact, just two months after surgery I dislocated my shoulder playing softball…when will I learn.  At least the team at Keck put me in the position to return to my pre-tumor life as soon as possible and that is why I recommend this team to anyone that requires such a procedure! I can attest that having the right surgeons, with the right attitude, the right confidence and the right team is the first step in the healing process. 

Friedman and Giannotta are indeed the A Team!

Chuck Skiko,   Completely Satisfied Patient

Jim Scott

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Re: USC Treatment Experience
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2014, 07:10:36 am »
Chuck ~

Congratulations on your successful AN surgery and remarkable recovery!  Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

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.


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Re: USC Treatment Experience
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2014, 10:49:51 am »

Happy for your wonderful outcome. What was the size of your tumor and which surgery did you have?

3.2 x 2.1 x 1.5 partially removed via Translab on 11/28/11 w/Friedman & Schwartz of HEI, SSD, facial nerve intact but have facial paralysis and synkenisis.
3/4/14 MRI shows 3mm AN growth.
AN now is 1.7cm
4/11/14 CK Stanford with Drs. Chang and Gibbs