Author Topic: Dr. Hrayr Shahinian in the news...two articles in this week's L.A. Times  (Read 23157 times)

Cynaburst

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1.  http://articles.latimes.com/2010/apr/06/local/la-me-cedars-sinai6-2010apr06 -- He sued Cedars-Sinai for wrongful termination and got a  multimillion dollar arbitration award against them.

2.  http://articles.latimes.com/2010/apr/09/local/la-me-malpractice9-2010apr09 -- He was sued by a patient for malpractice and got an $800K judgment against him for failing to remove the man's tumor.

leapyrtwins

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Very interesting articles.

Thanks for posting them.

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

HeadCase2

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Cynaburst,
  Thanks for pointing out these articles on a controversial surgeon.
Regards,
  Rob
1.5 X 1.0 cm AN- left side
Retrosigmoid 2/9/06
Duke Univ. Hospital

GrogMeister of the PBW

yardtick

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YIKES!
Sept 8/06 Translab
Post surgical headaches, hemifacial spasms and a scar neuroma. 
Our we having fun YET!!! 
Watch & Wait for more fun & games

Tumbleweed

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Is this the same doctor who operates out of the Skull Base Institute? If not, they have the same name. The article didn't mention SBI, which makes me wonder if this is the same doctor.

Thanks,
TW
L. AN 18x12x9 mm @ diagnosis, 11/07
21x13x11 mm @ CK treatment 7/11/08 (Drs. Chang & Gibbs, Stanford)
21x15x13 mm in 12/08 (5 months post-CK), widespread necrosis, swelling
12x9x6 mm, Nov. 2017; shrank ~78% since treatment!
W&W on stable 6mm hypoglossal tumor found 12/08

leapyrtwins

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Is this the same doctor who operates out of the Skull Base Institute? If not, they have the same name.

I believe it is the same doctor. 

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

sharonov

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I'm still torn on the whole Shahinian debate.  I actually had an appointment for surgery with him, but decided to keep watching and waiting (my trigeminal neuralgia subsided).  I, too, was warned against him--the rest of the neuro community absolutely hates him.  But............the big but...............the few people on this forum who used him sing his praises.    If I ever have to have surgery I'll have to go through the same excrutiating selection process all over again.  Oy.  Stay under 2, little guy.
Sharon

lori67

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YIKES! is right!

I would not ever recommend anyone have brain surgery performed by a general surgeon!  Maybe an appendectomy, but brain surgery?  I had no idea he was not a neurosurgeon.  That is just a scary thought.

I'm sure there are those that are happy with him and pleased with their outcome, but I'd venture to say (and I know I will make those aforementioned folks angry), they're lucky!

Thanks for sharing this info.  People should know these things before they make their final decision on a treatment.

Lori
Right 3cm AN diagnosed 1/2007.  Translab resection 2/20/07 by Dr. David Kaylie and Dr. Karl Hampf at Baptist Hospital in Nashville.  R side deafness, facial nerve paralysis.  Tarsorraphy and tear duct cauterization 5/2007.  BAHA implant 11/8/07. 7-12 nerve jump 9/26/08.

sgerrard

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Just to give a little balance, Dr. Shahinian trained in reconstructive facial surgery, an activity that involves removing tumors from various parts of the jaw, face, and head. He is by no means a "nip and tuck" plastic surgeon. He has published a number of articles on surgical removal of various difficult tumors from the face and head, particularly using endoscopic techniques, and is quite accomplished in the field.

His maverick status stems from his decision to apply these techniques to skull base surgery. It can be argued that when done with an endoscope, it does not require a neurosurgeon. However it is certainly the case that most of the skull base medical community does not approve of what he does. He has continued it anyway, because people come from all over the world to see him.

I don't honestly know if I would go to him, but I don't think it is fair to call him a quack, either.

Steve
8 mm left AN June 2007,  CK at Stanford Sept 2007.
Hearing lasted a while, but left side is deaf now.
Right side is weak too. Life is quiet.

sues1953

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Thanks Steve for your input on this thread.  I was trying to come up with how to say the same thing you did.  I did quite a bit of research on Dr. Shanian and while I thought the articles were interesting it didn't change my mind about him as a surgeon.  I don't think it is fair to judge unless you have all the information.  I was told at my last appt. at MEI by Dr. Kartush that they are starting to do endescopic surgery for AN's, although he does not recommend it in my case because of the size of the tumor.  If my insurance would pay for SBI I truly believe I would do it in a heartbeat.

Sue in Michigan
3.2 cm AN Right side diagnosed 12/4/09
Translab surgery May 2010 with Dr. Jack Kartush and Daniel Pieper at Michigan Ear Institute.
Successful surgery .5mm left on facial nerve.  Full facial movement. SSD, Tinnitis, tongue and lip numbness.  No headaches.  Back to living life.

Chitownpete

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Unfortunately many people in the medical profession dont like new techniques due to the countless hungry lawyers out there. People in that field tend to have cliques that they are loyal to. Unfortunately surgery has too many variables to treat it like a Consumer Reports  review. BTW CR has made some horrible recommendations in the past and I never listen to them about anything.

lori67

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To each his own, but there is a BIG difference between removing a tumor from one's face/jaw and removing one in someone's brain.  I have no problem with doctors pioneering new and different techniques, but I am not comfortable with them doing it in a field they are not trained in.  I would no sooner feel comfortable with a maxillofacial surgeon removing a brain tumor, and he's probably got more intimate knowledge of that part of the body than a general surgeon.

I guess I just have an issue with a doctor who is removing an ingrown toenail one minute and drilling through someone's skull the next.  If he wants to specialize in skull base tumors, he should have the formal education to do so.

Pete, CR helped me pick out a good vacuum cleaner!   ;)

Lori
Right 3cm AN diagnosed 1/2007.  Translab resection 2/20/07 by Dr. David Kaylie and Dr. Karl Hampf at Baptist Hospital in Nashville.  R side deafness, facial nerve paralysis.  Tarsorraphy and tear duct cauterization 5/2007.  BAHA implant 11/8/07. 7-12 nerve jump 9/26/08.

Jim Scott

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While I'm past the point of needing to hire a neurosurgeon to remove my AN, I have to admit that the controversial Dr. Shahinian and his endoscopic technique for removing acoustic neuromas has always interested me.  Back in 2006, as I was preparing for my AN debulking surgery, I mentioned this technique to my neurosurgeon and asked him if it was viable.  He said that he had never heard of using the endoscopic procedure on ANs - and he thought it was very risky.   At that point I dismissed any idea of going that route and assumed endoscopic surgery to remove ANs was 'experimental' and not feasible in my case.  Fortunately, my debulking procedure went well and I've never regretted choosing that route.  

Even so, I can see why many AN patients are excited about this minimally invasive form of AN surgery.  Were I diagnosed today, I would thoroughly investigate it.  However,being the practical type, I would probably chose traditional AN surgery. After reading the New York Times articles, I would definitely pass on Dr. Shahinian and his endoscopic procedure but I wouldn't reject him as a possible choice for other AN patients facing surgery.  I would, however, advise such AN patients to vet this physician thoroughly and understand that every surgical procedure carries risks, which is why they have you sign the waiver before the surgery, acknowledging that you've been informed of the (often grim) possibilities that could occur as a result of the surgery.

Frankly, these articles are not encouraging and I believe it will take some years and much demonstrable success of endoscopic AN surgery before it - and Dr. Shahinian - are accepted and trusted by the doctor's peers and the medical profession, in general.  

Jim
« Last Edit: April 15, 2010, 04:15:03 pm by Jim Scott »
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.

jerseygirl

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Somehow my post in this thread dissapeared.  Here it is one more time.

Of all doctors, neurosurgeons have the highest malpractice insurance premiums because just about everybody gets sued. The most experienced and skilled surgeons sometimes have the worst outcomes. A patient can only pray and hope to be on the right side of this doctor's statistics because any brain surgery that does not work out is absolutely devastating. I wonder how many other neurosurgeons make mistakes, and how come their malpractice suits and payouts are not in the news? It would certainly be interesting to compare. I don't think it is fair to name Dr. Sh "a quack" based on this one-sided presentation of events.

Meanwhile, I am happy that my surgery with him worked out and I do think it is because of his skill. I am neither pro- nor against any particular doctor but rather advocate for making an educated decision about your own treatment. I am also very happy when anybody else's surgery( or radiation) with  any other neurosurgeon works out. It just makes my day.

                               Eve
Right side AN (6x3x3 cm) removed in 1988 by Drs. Benjamin & Cohen at NYU (16 hrs); nerves involved III - XII.
Regrowth at the brainstem 2.5 cm removed by Dr.Shahinian in 4 hrs at SBI (hopefully, this time forever); nerves involved IV - X with VIII missing. No facial or swallowing issues.

Tumbleweed

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I am not a neurosurgeon. But I did stay at a Holiday Inn.  ;D

TW
L. AN 18x12x9 mm @ diagnosis, 11/07
21x13x11 mm @ CK treatment 7/11/08 (Drs. Chang & Gibbs, Stanford)
21x15x13 mm in 12/08 (5 months post-CK), widespread necrosis, swelling
12x9x6 mm, Nov. 2017; shrank ~78% since treatment!
W&W on stable 6mm hypoglossal tumor found 12/08

 


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