Just read the post by Frankie, so glad the hear his good report and pray for continued strength and recovery for him.
I am interested in exploring Frankie's comment regarding Dr. Giannotta. His bio seems to indicate that while he has done many AN surgeries, most of them were in days gone by. To be fair, he has been on the team for several hundred AN surgeries, but of late he has focused on other types of tumors. My concern is not that he is in any way less than great, but Dr. Friedman and Schwartz were a team for quite some time. Wish I knew how important it is that the team has worked together for a while. My diagnosis was made about five months ago and I am at the point of setting a date either with house or at keck. Frankie mentioned that Keck has a lot to offer, how would that differ from House? House says that they have the treatment processes down to a science, that their entire team has worked together for so long that even the nursing staff plays a role in their success percentages. For the record, both institutions and doctors have been very professional in describing their attributes without alleging anything negative toward the other. To be honest I would like for one or the other to step up and tell me why they are the better place for me (when compared to the other). I understand the legal implication, but still wish they could say, "we have this, they don't".
If I go to House, I would be treated by Dr. Slattery & Schwartz. There is some possibility that Schwartz could be a part of the team at Keck (this would have to be approved by Keck, but I've been told it would be) on the other hand how important is it that a surgeon perform in familiar surroundings, using instruments he normally uses. I guess I'm being a little over cautious, I just don't want to get in early on polishing a new team.
For the record, my AN is 2.3 cm, left ear (all the way out at the end of the auditory canal) I've lost about 40% hearing, I would still like to retain what is left, but both Dr's. Are leaning toward Translab. Dr. Friedman did say he could possibly use one of the other approaches, but thinks I would have headaches and may still lose the hearing.
I've looked into GK but have not been able to get a straight answer to my questions regarding reversal of current symptoms. I have a problem understanding why symptoms will subside if the tumor continues to apply pressure to the nerves. Dr. Lundsford at Pittsburg says I'm an excellent candidate, I take that to mean that the tumor will be treated and will possibly die, but will not necessarily reduce in size (and may actually swell thus applying additional pressure to the nerves). I went for a face to face consultation, but most of the time was spent with another Dr., I failed to ask a couple of things and tried to reach Dr. Lundsford via email and phone, the team member who called me back, was not able to say one way or another that taste could return, burning mouth and lips could return to normal, that numbness in the lower left portion of my face could improve, etc. Why would it be successful if the treatment destroyed the tumor, but the symptoms continued?
Any thoughts which could enlighten me, thus help me move ahead with treatment would be greatly appreciated.