Author Topic: Surgeons in Massachusetts  (Read 6634 times)

New girl

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Surgeons in Massachusetts
« on: June 14, 2011, 03:50:18 pm »
Has anyone had a positive experience with surgeons in MA?  I am newly diagnosed and am looking for a good surgeon.  I have talked with G. McGillicuddy.   Has anyone had an experience with him or J. Sillman?  thanks.   ???
9mmx14mmx9mm
Diagnosed 6/1/2011
Retrosigmoid Surgery 9/27/2011
Daniel Lee (MEEI) & Fred Barker (MGH) - Exceptional Surgeons

ppearl214

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Re: Surgeons in Massachusetts
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2011, 04:05:38 pm »
Hi NewGirl and welcome

There are MANY of us in the Metro Boston area.  Too many too list here!

Dr. Elizabeth Claus - Neurosurgeon - Brigham/Womans... also standing member of ANA Medical Advisory Board
Drs Barker/McKenna - Mass Gen Hosp.   Too many here that had their AN surgeries performed very successfully by them.

Many radiation docs in town

Drs Mahadevan/Floyd - Cyberknife Radio - Beth Israel
Dr. Jay(?) Loeffler - Proton Radio - Mass General

Hope that is a good starting point.

Again, welcome.
Phyl
"Gentlemen, I wash my hands of this weirdness", Capt Jack Sparrow - Davy Jones Locker, "Pirates of the Carribbean - At World's End"

kmoltenbrey

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Re: Surgeons in Massachusetts
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2011, 10:55:00 pm »
New Girl,

I was diagnosed with an AN this past Spring, and referred to Dr. McKenna at MEEI.  He made a great first impression, and I feel comfortable under his care.  (It also helped reading many posts in this forum about him and seeing all of the positive comments.)  I go back in September for another MRI and check up.  Until then, I am getting used to my new normal, which isn't that bad.   :)

I hope this helped.
Kathy
Diagnosed Spring 2011 with a Left ear AN
Functional hearing in left ear is gone, constant Tinnitus, change in sensation in mouth/taste, balance issues
Being treated at MEEI  Dr. McKenna

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krbonner

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Re: Surgeons in Massachusetts
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2011, 08:48:38 am »
I had surgery with Dr. McKenna at MEEI and Dr. Barker at MGH (they work together) back in Sept 2006. (5 years?? Really????)  I know there are many very good surgeons in the Boston area, but I can't say enough good things about McKenna and Barker. McKenna is very easy to talk to, is highly experienced with ANs, and all around wonderful. He has hundreds of AN patients in the "Watch-and-wait" stage, not even counting all the post-op patients. And he won't recommend surgery if he doesn't think it's really needed - he's open to watch-an-wait and radiation (maybe slightly biased against radiation, but he is a surgeon by training).

Dr. Barker is exceptionally skilled, though not as good with the bedside manner. But I think that's okay for someone who'll be mucking around inside your skull!

I came through translab surgery with no lasting side effects other than total deafness on the AN side (hearing was 90% gone before surgery and it was a known outcome). No facial weakness/numbness, headaches, vertigo, eye issues, etc. A lot of that was luck, but it didn't hurt to have good doctors. =)

Keep asking questions!
Katie
diagnosed June 2005
2.3cmx1.6cmx1.4cm left AN
translab Sept 13, 2006; Drs. McKenna and Barker in MA (MEEI/MGH)

New girl

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Re: Surgeons in Massachusetts
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2011, 04:23:43 pm »
Thank you all for your very helpful responses!  I really appreciate the support.  I have made an appt with McKenna.  He definately has the experience I am looking for.    :)
9mmx14mmx9mm
Diagnosed 6/1/2011
Retrosigmoid Surgery 9/27/2011
Daniel Lee (MEEI) & Fred Barker (MGH) - Exceptional Surgeons

Rivergirl

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Re: Surgeons in Massachusetts
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2011, 07:30:09 pm »
I just had surgery with Dr Martusa (neurosurgeon Mass General) and Dr. McKenna (surgeon MEEI) they were both great and so far so good each day gets better.  McKenna is the one I was with for almost three years in watch and wait, he has been great, very experienced, he doesn't jump into surgery, he likes to see what the growth pattern is then weigh the options. You will like McKenna's team.  Good luck with your journey and remember this is a great place to vent and get more knowledge.
Diagnosed 6/2008
Right AN 2cmx8x9
Sub-Occipital at Mass General with Martusa and McKenna on 5/31/11
Right SSD, very little taste
I think I will make it!

New girl

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Re: Surgeons in Massachusetts
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2011, 03:13:46 pm »
Thanks Rivergirl.  I am glad to hear your surgery went well.  Is McKenna open to what the patient's wishes are?  Of all the options I do not want to watch and wait.  Just the thought of that makes me feel even more stressed.
9mmx14mmx9mm
Diagnosed 6/1/2011
Retrosigmoid Surgery 9/27/2011
Daniel Lee (MEEI) & Fred Barker (MGH) - Exceptional Surgeons

krbonner

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Re: Surgeons in Massachusetts
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2011, 03:27:10 pm »
Thanks Rivergirl.  I am glad to hear your surgery went well.  Is McKenna open to what the patient's wishes are?  Of all the options I do not want to watch and wait.  Just the thought of that makes me feel even more stressed.

That's absolutely an important factor for any good doctor. It's not the same, but he was willing to do one of my post-op MRIs (just for monitoring to make sure there's still nothing there) a year earlier than scheduled just for my own peace of mind. I am on an every-two-years plan, but my first two pregnancies fueled my AN to grow extra rapidly. So after my third baby (which was post AN-op) I made him do an extra MRI to make sure nothing had happened. He was happy to accommodate.

I just mean to say that I think he'll consider what you want and your reasons for it in his recommendations. If he doesn't, it's time for another opinion.

Katie
diagnosed June 2005
2.3cmx1.6cmx1.4cm left AN
translab Sept 13, 2006; Drs. McKenna and Barker in MA (MEEI/MGH)

Rivergirl

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Re: Surgeons in Massachusetts
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2011, 11:12:02 am »
Watch and Wait has advantages, like you get to keep your hearing, if your facial nerve is ok now you don't jump into risking it being damaged with surgery, and you get to put off a very unpleasant surgery.  Yes, surgery will take the tumor away but recovery is not easy, I lost my taste buds, lost the hearing in my right ear.  Had my tumor been smaller and I knew then what I know now I might have opted for radiation.  At any rate there is a lot to think about and McKenna will listen and make the referrals for you, talk to the surgeons, talk to the radiation oncologists, do your own research as well.  It is a journey and you suck up knowledge all along the way, knowledge is power.  Best of luck.
Diagnosed 6/2008
Right AN 2cmx8x9
Sub-Occipital at Mass General with Martusa and McKenna on 5/31/11
Right SSD, very little taste
I think I will make it!

New girl

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Re: Surgeons in Massachusetts
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2011, 04:18:01 pm »
Hi Rivergirl,

Thanks for sharing your experience.  I am leaning towards surgery but I am definatley talking to everyone to ensure I have as much info as possible.  I have an appointment tomorrow at Tufts to discuss radiation treatment.  It feels like a full time job finding info, reading journal articles, and interviewing doctors.  This forum is especially helpful.

Thanks again,
-d
9mmx14mmx9mm
Diagnosed 6/1/2011
Retrosigmoid Surgery 9/27/2011
Daniel Lee (MEEI) & Fred Barker (MGH) - Exceptional Surgeons

Sheryl

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Re: Surgeons in Massachusetts
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2011, 08:58:55 pm »
Yes, the fact finding is definitely a "full time job"!!  I went through it with my husband - he had a benign brain tumor called a meningioma.  It regrew after one surgery in Florida and then regrew through Cyberknife but it was an "atypical grade 2" meningioma - more likely to recur.  His second surgery after all the above was done at the Brigham with highly recommended Dr. Arthur Day who now is in Texas.  It is now (July 9th) two years and that's the longest he's gone without a regrowth - yippee!!  Unfortunately, I am also followed for a benign brainstem tumor on the 9th cranial nerve as opposed to an AN on the 8th.  I was followed in Florida (we are snowbirds and split out time between Florida and Cape Cod) and decided with the best medical facilities in my backyard, I would go to Boston.  Last year I consulted with Dr. Ian Dunn - was very impressed even though he's young enough to be my son!!  He specializes in brain stem tumors and told me I could still continue my almost 10 year W&W - I like it when a surgeon tells me not to undergo surgery!  I'll be seeing him next week for my yearly consult and see whether this "booger" is behaving.    Good luck and keep us posted.
Sheryl
9th cranial nerve schwannoma - like an acoustic neuroma on another nerve. Have recently been told it could be acoustic neuroma. Only 7 mm of growth in 18 years. With no symptoms. Continuing W&W

leapyrtwins

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Re: Surgeons in Massachusetts
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2011, 02:25:19 pm »
Have heard very good things about Barker & McKenna. 

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

New girl

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Re: Surgeons in Massachusetts
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2011, 09:20:54 am »
Thanks for the replies!   :D

Sheryl - Congrats on your husbands 2 yrs of no growth!  That is very exciting news.  Also, good luck on your "booger" consult.  ;D  If only we could sneeze these boogers out!  Enjoy your time down the cape.  My husband is always down there fishing.  I may start going with him to get some R&R.
9mmx14mmx9mm
Diagnosed 6/1/2011
Retrosigmoid Surgery 9/27/2011
Daniel Lee (MEEI) & Fred Barker (MGH) - Exceptional Surgeons

ppearl214

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Re: Surgeons in Massachusetts
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2011, 04:53:10 am »
wow!  2 yrs and going! :) :) :)

... and for you, m'dear........ hoping that "brain booger" (yeah, my term, silly!) of your's remains as is.  BTW....4 yrs since we saw ya. Will ya stay local long enough to catch up with ya?  :-*

Now back to your regularly scheduled, terrific discussions of Barker/McKenna.  Here's also hoping the consult at Tufts went well. We do have some folks here that were treated there with GK.  User "Helga" is the first that comes to mind.

Phyl

Yes, the fact finding is definitely a "full time job"!!  I went through it with my husband - he had a benign brain tumor called a meningioma.  It regrew after one surgery in Florida and then regrew through Cyberknife but it was an "atypical grade 2" meningioma - more likely to recur.  His second surgery after all the above was done at the Brigham with highly recommended Dr. Arthur Day who now is in Texas.  It is now (July 9th) two years and that's the longest he's gone without a regrowth - yippee!!  Unfortunately, I am also followed for a benign brainstem tumor on the 9th cranial nerve as opposed to an AN on the 8th.  I was followed in Florida (we are snowbirds and split out time between Florida and Cape Cod) and decided with the best medical facilities in my backyard, I would go to Boston.  Last year I consulted with Dr. Ian Dunn - was very impressed even though he's young enough to be my son!!  He specializes in brain stem tumors and told me I could still continue my almost 10 year W&W - I like it when a surgeon tells me not to undergo surgery!  I'll be seeing him next week for my yearly consult and see whether this "booger" is behaving.    Good luck and keep us posted.
Sheryl
« Last Edit: July 13, 2011, 04:55:17 am by ppearl214 »
"Gentlemen, I wash my hands of this weirdness", Capt Jack Sparrow - Davy Jones Locker, "Pirates of the Carribbean - At World's End"

Helga

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Re: Surgeons in Massachusetts
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2011, 10:32:19 am »
Hi, if you are consider surgery and you are already familiar with Tuft's (if just for the radiation), you may want to make an appointment with Dr. Carl Heilman, head of neurosurgery. He did my surgery two years ago. Every interview will get you closer to making a well informed decision!
Good luck! Helga

 


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