Author Topic: Duke Surgeons  (Read 4099 times)

Sailfish

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Duke Surgeons
« on: July 21, 2017, 01:39:50 pm »
Newbie looking for any feedback on Duke AN surgeons Dr. Cunningham and Dr. Zomorodi. Anyone have surgery with either of them?
6/23/17  3.2cm  Facial numbness and tingling  Tinnitus 2012 
Surgery with Drs. Cunningham and Zomorodi at Duke - upcoming

kgs123

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Re: Duke Surgeons
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2017, 12:37:38 pm »
Wondering if you gathered any info in the last couple weeks. I'm meeting with Dr Zomorodi tomorrow, but my other would be Dr Howard Francis. This week has been a bit overwhelming for me. I'm in Durham if you want to get together and chat about ANs.

melissabreaux

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Re: Duke Surgeons
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2017, 08:22:36 am »
I am in Charlotte and considering Kaylie and Zomorodi at Duke.  I have been really impressed with Duke so far during my consultation.  Did you receive any feedback yet on surgery experience?

EricN

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Re: Duke Surgeons
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2017, 06:19:19 am »
Can anyone update how their consultations went?  I'm also in NC and am considering Duke/UNC options

kgs123

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Re: Duke Surgeons
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2017, 11:39:24 am »
I did not go to UNC so I can't compare but I consulted at Duke and House (via record review/phone). I really like how Duke has been very thorough in explaining things to me, such as what each test is for and how it guides the decisions moving forward. I really like my nurse navigator. She happily answers my endless questions. She forwarded billing codes, helps with scheduling and really is so patient with me.

I figure if a Kennedy can come to Duke for brain surgery (a big deal when Teddy came here a few years back), I probably can't go wrong.

Sailfish

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Re: Duke Surgeons
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2017, 04:12:58 pm »
Kgs123 - who is your Duke nurse navigator and with which surgeon is he/she with?  Curious because the person I'm working with is slow to respond and has not been very proactive with my case.  Can never reach her by phone and feel a little like I'm bothering her when I email questions. Thanks.
6/23/17  3.2cm  Facial numbness and tingling  Tinnitus 2012 
Surgery with Drs. Cunningham and Zomorodi at Duke - upcoming

Sailfish

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Re: Duke Surgeons
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2017, 04:31:51 pm »
I had consults at UNC and Duke and a phone consult with House. Decided on Duke with Drs Cunningham and Zomorodi. My surgery is scheduled for middle of October although still don't know which approach going to have - Translabyrthrine or Retrosigmoid?
All three Dr consults gave me the option of both with the definite loss of hearing with the Trans and a 30/40% chance of hearing preservation with the Retro. Almost wish I didn't have an option because I'm finding it very stressful to decide. Leaning toward the Trans because the risks and recovery time seem overall less. At the end of the day I'm more concerned about good facial nerve outcome and again the Trans approach seems to be a better option for that. That being said, I'm not completely comfortable losing my hearing in one ear. So my dilemma continues ... trying to decide which approach to take.
6/23/17  3.2cm  Facial numbness and tingling  Tinnitus 2012 
Surgery with Drs. Cunningham and Zomorodi at Duke - upcoming

kgs123

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Re: Duke Surgeons
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2017, 07:05:48 pm »
My nurse coordinator is Marly and I believe she falls under the umbrella of Dr Francis (could be Dr Z). I don't try to reach her by phone much - my available times are spotty with two jobs and single parenting - so I communicate primarily by email.

What helped me the most in determining translab or RSM was Dr Z's interpretation of one of my tests. It's the electrode one where they see how your brain stem and auditory nerve are communicating. That one came back with very low signal, despite the fact that my hearing loss isn't too terribly bad right now (nor is my vestibular system affected at all currently). I was given generally around a 25-30% chance of retaining hearing, which wasn't enough for me to bank on. So I'm going translab.

I am also struggling with the thought of a lifetime of SSD, as I am only 44 years old. I'm also a special education teacher, so effective communication at my work place is critical. But reading on here about people who learn to acclimate to SSD has helped me realize I will likely do the same. I'm so thankful to have all of these other people's experiences to learn from, while also understanding that every single person's case is unique.

melissabreaux

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Re: Duke Surgeons
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2017, 11:03:32 am »
Hi yes I am struggling with my choice as well.  I was convinced of Translab at Duke but after talking to House I am not so sure.  They offer 50% chance of saving my partial hearing with Middle Fossa but the I would have to travel to West Coast.  Both teams of doctors are fantastic.  I go back and forth on my preference.  I don't think the outcome will be bad with either approach just a hard call.

kgs123

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Re: Duke Surgeons
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2017, 10:37:18 am »
Interesting. House said they recommend middle fossa with a 3.2cm or am I mistaken and you're 3.2mm? Duke told me that's usually only for <1cm (and why I'm not a candidate).  50/50 are definitely odds to think about. Tough decision and I wish you peace deciding and with your decision.

ANSydney

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Re: Duke Surgeons
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2017, 09:29:20 pm »
melissabreaux, I note you mentioned that your tumor is 13 mm.

Do you have many symptoms. Outside the US, that small sized tumor would be recommended for observation!

melissabreaux

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Re: Duke Surgeons
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2017, 11:19:07 am »
Partial Hearing loss is my main symptom.   If I want to preserve what hearing I have left then the sooner the better for Middle Fossa.  Otherwise, yes watch and wait is a good option.

ANSydney

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Re: Duke Surgeons
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2017, 05:28:10 pm »
Melissa, sounds like your main concern is hearing preservation. What's your current Pure Tone Average (PTA) and Speech Discrimination (SD)?

Why not monitor hearing and have MRIs every 6 months to work out if hearing is deteriorating and there is growth.

At a 50% chance of saving hearing, I'd want to see evidence of continuous hearing deterioration and growth before I would do anything.

michaelsp

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Re: Duke Surgeons
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2017, 04:52:55 pm »
I am scheduled for surgery with Dr. Cunningham and Dr. Zomorodi at Duke on November 28th.  My tumor is 6mm X 4mm in the right ear IAC.  My ABR and VBRH tests (2/8/2016) were completely normal.  I have been W&W for the past 18 months and have had three (6 month interval)  MRI’s and hearing test checks.  After much research, prayer, and multiple remote consults,
I have decided to schedule middle fossa approach surgery on November 28th.

I wanted to ride the W&W wave as long as I could but this little AN bugger started to affect my quality of life.  Even though the tumor hasn't statistically grown, the way it is interacting with my nerves is clearly impacting me more than before. Vertigo, headaches, and ear pressure pain have escalated in recent months causing me to miss work and impacting my general quality of day to day living.  Hearing has decreased to about 50% in the affected ear and is likely to continue deteriorating.  I am 49 yrs old and prefer a surgical approach over radiation.  I plan to private message others who are also considering or scheduled for surgery at Duke. 

During the surgery, my main priority (I’m sure this is everyone’s #1 priority) is to remove the tumor in its entirety while preserving the facial nerve (though I know that some irritation may cause temporary side effects).  My secondary goal is to preserve the hearing.  I believe that, while undesired, I can personally live with SSD (having a brother who is SSD) non- AN related. However, if possible, Dr. Zomorodi will preserve the hearing nerve (given the small tumor size – the key factor will be how sticky the darn tumor is).  I know that that preserving my right ear hearing is a statistical anomaly and might be possible but not in any way guaranteed.

I have had positive interaction via the "https://www.dukemychart.org" from both Dr. Cunningham and Dr. Zomorodi (and staff). 

Despite the challenges ahead, I am pleased with my choice of surgeons and feel that the positives outweigh the negatives.

Whatever my surgical outcome is, I will persevere and adapt to the new "normal," whatever that may be…..
1/18/2015 6mm x 4 mm - W&W
8/9/2017 - scheduled for middle fosa on 11/28/2017 at Duke (Dr. Cunningham and Dr. Zomorodi)

staypoz

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Re: Duke Surgeons
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2017, 09:15:48 am »
I don't know anything about Duke, but Dr. Howard Francis was one of my surgeons when he was at Johns Hopkins and he is both superb technically and has wonderful bedside manner.  Hopkins' loss is Duke's gain. 

staypoz