Author Topic: Dr. Friedman at House Ear Clinic  (Read 12317 times)


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Re: Dr. Friedman at House Ear Clinic
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2011, 10:43:23 pm »
I was so relieved to read your post!  I had my MRI last Wed and my doc called me friday night with the results.  1.6cm AN....still desiphering out what the rest of the report means.  We have been on the computer since Friday night.  We live in VERY northern CA so our choices are UCSF, Stanford (or other So Cal), UC Davis...and I keep reading alot of great things about House.
I want it removed.  I have 6 young children and I am the stay at home parent.  I am scared and all of those feelings.  Read and looked at pictures while realizing it is BRAIN surgery and it makes me feel ill. 
Questions:  Will I have hair shaved?  Do they let you shower or at least help with that right away?  Will I be myself and not debilitated pretty soon after surgery?  I don't want to look or act different.  I have pride in myself and I am really important to my family...the fact that I chose to stay home when we created our family.  I just need some they come.  I am glad you all are out there and sharing this journey.  Stephanie
1.6 cm AN Translab with Dr.'s Friedman and Shwartz with HEI on 1-25-2012.  I am doing great!  Surgery saved my life :).   Be brave, have a great attitude, and hire the best surgical team!!!!


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Re: Dr. Friedman at House Ear Clinic
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2011, 07:37:51 am »
Hi Stephanie and welcome to his forum of caring, supportive new friends .....

I read all of your posts in various threads, but will reply to each one separately.

First of all, take a deep breath, you are not alone with this decision.  Yes, it is totally your decision on what you are going to do, where you are going to go for treatment, and when ..... but this forum exists to help the stress level during the decision-making phase.

Secondly, send for the free ANA information to assist you in sorting out the options.  See:  These materials will be a big help in answering general questions about acoustic neuromas.

Thirdly, because of the rare nature of ANs, we always urge patients to find physicians with the most successful experience treating acoustic neuromas specifically.  You are fortunate to have House Ear Clinic in your state, even though at the southern end.

There are a number of House alums active on this forum right now.  I can only speak for myself, but I had a wonderful experience with Drs. Friedman and Schwartz doing my surgery last May ..... no complications and uneventful recovery.

Your questions:
Depending upon the surgical approach used (and doctor preference), only a small strip of your head will be shaved ..... usually just wide enough for the incision and in most cases for women, your hair will cover it easily post-op.

Most docs will not let you wash your hair until the stitches are out (if stitches used), which is usually 7-10 days post-op; but you will be able to shower (using a shower cap) as soon as you are discharged.  If you have balance issues post-op, and most people do, for at least a short while (depends on how much compensating your brain has already done before surgery), you will have assistance as long as you need it when up ..... in the hospital, that is.

It is very, very individual how quickly you bounce back from MAJOR surgery.  For many people, the first couple of weeks post-op they are physically rather wobbly and very tired.  Some people have headaches (I did not!).  Much depends upon the patient's attitude and motivation to get back to a normal routine.  I have had several major surgeries in my life and the AN surgeries were similar in a 4-6 week recovery time to regain strength.

Feel free to private message me if you want any additional information about House.

Many thoughts and prayers!

Right MVD for trigeminal neuralgia, 1994, Pittsburgh, PA
Left retrosigmoid 2.6 cm AN removal, February, 2008, Duke U
Tumor regrew to 1.3 cm in February, 2011
Translab AN removal, May, 2011 at HEI, Friedman & Schwartz
Oticon Ponto Pro abutment implant at same time; processor added August, 2011


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Re: Dr. Friedman at House Ear Clinic
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2011, 05:12:20 pm »
I go to these replies over and over as I will be having Translab on my 1.6cm AN on Jan 25, 2012.  I have six children to finish raising, a lot of things left to do in this life, and I feel better each time I read the posts about where I am going for this surgery.  Thanks for sharing.
1.6 cm AN Translab with Dr.'s Friedman and Shwartz with HEI on 1-25-2012.  I am doing great!  Surgery saved my life :).   Be brave, have a great attitude, and hire the best surgical team!!!!

Jim Scott

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Re: Dr. Friedman at House Ear Clinic
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2011, 02:46:08 pm »
Hi, Stephanie ~

I've been following your posts on this thread but didn't venture a response because, as often happens, Clarice did all the heavy lifting in terms of answering your questions accurately.  She is a valued member.  I'm glad you now have a surgery date.  That will help you focus and feel a bit more in control of the situation.   

For whatever it may be worth to you, I was diagnosed with a 4.5 cm AN in May, 2006 (at age 63) and underwent Retrosigmoid approach 'de-bulking' surgery a few weeks later.  De-bulking surgery entails the neurosurgeon slowly and v-e-r-y carefully peeling layers off the tumor and reducing it's density, making it amenable for later radiation.   He also severed the ANs blood supply.  I came through the 9-hour surgery with no real complications and was discharged from the hospital 5 days later.  I was driving again, with my doctor's approval, within less than two weeks.  Three months later, as planned, I underwent 26 FSR treatments.  They were uneventful.  My AN symptoms (dizziness, loss of the sense of taste, severe fatigue) all disappeared within 24 hours of the surgery, never to return.  My last MRI scan (2008) showed the beginnings of tumor necrosis and shrinkage.  Today, at 68, I feel great.  Whatever small post-op 'reminders' I have are invisible to others and have no impact on my quality of life.  My experience is not at all uncommon.  I trust that you'll get through your Translab surgery with few problems and enjoy a rapid recovery, as I did.  Many of us will be thinking of and praying for you as your Big Day (Wednesday,January 25th) approaches and you're always welcome to post a question, concern or whatever here as well as contact members via the PM system.
Meanwhile, I urge you to attempt to remain optimistic and, next month, go into your surgery with reasonable but positive expectations.  I did, and it worked well for me.   :)

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.

Mark Sachs

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Re: Dr. Friedman at House Ear Clinic
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2011, 01:50:20 pm »
I had an excellent experience with HEI and St. Vincent's (Drs Friedman, Schwartz and Stefan).  Translab surgery 6 weeks ago on 2 cm AN previously treated in 2006 with stereotactic radiation but which had started to regrow.

I am not sure what I can add to the glowing reviews that HEI and St. Vincent's receive here.  Perhaps one useful comment would be with respect to surgical removal of prior irradiated tumours.    My experience with this has been excellent with full facial nerve preservation and minimal symptoms thereafter.  I understand that is not always the case but Drs Schwartz and Friedman really made the process almost routine.

St. Vincent's ICU nursing team is wonderful.


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Re: Dr. Friedman at House Ear Clinic
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2011, 03:30:13 pm »
Dr. Friedman actually just sent me an email saying he will be back on Tuesday. He asked if I had mailed my films yet. I was just so floored that he emailed me on his time off. I do plan on sending my films to him to get his opinion. I find it just wonderful that he takes time out to talk to us.  ;D ;D ;D
14mm dx 9/07. CK done Seattle  1 year MRI showed some shrinkage. 4 year MRI 2mm growth nothing conclusive. Trigminal nerve involvment Retrosigmoid Friedmand/Schwartz HEI March 7,2012