Author Topic: How do you pick the right surgeon for you?  (Read 946 times)

solotraveler

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How do you pick the right surgeon for you?
« on: October 27, 2023, 01:23:55 pm »
I canceled my surgery that was scheduled Nov 1st (my MRI showed a stable tumor since it was found in June and I then had the option to wait). My tumor is 2cm so I don’t want to wait for it to grow but I could not get past my bad gut feeling about my neurosurgeon.  Even though he has good credentials, good reviews and it’s a good institution, there were several things he said that were nagging at me and giving me a bad feeling.  There is a neurosurgeon at Georgetown who I love, he is so awesome and I want him to do my surgery but he didn’t take my insurance because I am on marketplace insurance and I can only go to doctors in my state of Virginia.  But with open enrollment coming up, I now have the option to buy a new policy and go back to Georgetown, although it will be expensive insurance (I’m self employed) and I will be pulling out my of my 401k to pay for it, but this is my brain we are talking about. Do other people on here get gut feelings about the surgeons they meet with? How do you decide who to go with?   

Roggae

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Re: How do you pick the right surgeon for you?
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2023, 08:40:12 pm »
Hi again: I’m working through insurance and may have to wait for open enrollment in June. I made my choice based on recs, reviews, credentials, and the fact they called me in the evening and on the weekend after I emailed saying “this won’t kill you.” I have a tough one but they’ve done a bunch and are cool and empathetic. That means the world to me. If I have to wait until the summer for surgery, so be it. Geoff

solotraveler

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Re: How do you pick the right surgeon for you?
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2023, 06:59:25 am »
Hi Geoff, the insurance aspect is so frustrating, isn’t it?  I wanted another opinion from John’s Hopkins but they wouldn’t even let me self pay.  That’s amazing they called you on a weekend to help ease your concerns, empathy from the surgeon and the whole team makes a huge difference to me too.  The surgeon at Georgetown spent 2 hours with me, trying to calm my anxiety.  Then when I went to the other surgeon, in my first appt the PA and surgeon had this banter going on joking around with each other while I was in a state of fear and depression.  But in subsequent appointments there were things he said that bothered me, plus a few mistakes he made (he thought my tumor was in my other ear, and he said I only have 5% hearing left but my hearing is really good). Just didn’t give me a feeling of confidence.  I couldn’t get past all my doubts about him even though he has good credentials and good reviews.

Roggae

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Re: How do you pick the right surgeon for you?
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2023, 10:08:28 am »
Yes it’s very upsetting. Best of luck with your decisions. None of this is easy. I’m trying to focus on grace and finding happiness in little things. Those are elements that we can control. The diagnosis is something we cannot. Good luck. Geoff

solotraveler

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Re: How do you pick the right surgeon for you?
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2023, 02:35:28 pm »
 A very good outlook and very true! I wish you the best also.  I hope you will give updates on here! 

Sandy

DanFouratt

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Re: How do you pick the right surgeon for you?
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2023, 02:52:50 pm »
Insurance is always an issue.  I changed my program last year so I could get my treatment.  I have change back after the year.  That is always an option, one year at higher insurance hurts but monitoring it can be done locally.
Dan Fouratt             63 years old
Vestibular Schwannoma
Discovered 9/15/21  5mm x 11mm
MRI 4/11/22            No change
MRI 1/9/23              7mm x 13 mm
MRI 6/19/23            No change
CK  9/15/23             TBD Not Scheduled

solotraveler

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Re: How do you pick the right surgeon for you?
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2023, 04:01:43 pm »
Hi Dan, I was wondering about the monitoring after treatment the following year.  The insurance issue sucks but I definitely feel like I made the right decision.  I can also get another opinion at John’s Hopkins in Maryland.  Thank you for your input!

Greece Lover

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Re: How do you pick the right surgeon for you?
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2023, 03:26:05 pm »
It is super important to have a surgeon you trust. I"m curious what he said that gave you pause.
ON the other hand, having a high volume center is also important.  They should be able to give you statistics on various outcomes based on their past work.

Good luck!
Vestibular Schwannoma 1.2 cm. Right side.
Middle fossa surgery at University of Iowa on May 9 2016.
Hearing saved.  Face is fine. Balance pretty darn good most days.
One year follow up MRI showed no tumor. 
Five year follow up showed no tumor, so I'm in the clear.