Author Topic: SBI and Dr Shahinian  (Read 4713 times)


  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 13
SBI and Dr Shahinian
« on: December 08, 2006, 04:32:24 pm »
It’s been almost three weeks since my surgery at SBI in LA and I'm doing great!!  I have read a few negative remarks about Dr Shahinian so I thought I would post my story regarding my experience.  I was diagnosed with a 4cm AN on October 27, 2006.  My only symptoms were facial numbness.  I had been to my doctor at least ten times before he agreed to perform an MRI to find out what was going on.  I had just had a baby five months before I was diagnosed so my doctor just thought the numbness was due to the pregnancy.  I still remember the phone call when I got the new the doctor said they found a small tumor on my ear.  This was quite an understatement considering the tumor was the size of a large golf ball.  I was very upset after I met with the ENT and heard my options to have the tumor removed.  I just remember thinking I have to be okay for my children so whatever if takes I was willing to do.  Leaving the ENT's office I just figured that my only option was the traditional surgery.  After all you just do what your doctor tells you to do right?  My husband didn't have that same outlook. He was convinced that I would have the best care.  Even if it meant traveling to LA, PA or TN.  He locked himself in the computer room and about ten hours later emerged to tell me we were going to the Skull Base Institute in LA.  I remember thinking yeah right!  Whatever you say.  The more and more we looked into it the clearer it became this was the way to go.  We did a lot of research, a lot of phone calling and a lot of praying before we decided 100% we were going to go.  The biggest obstacle was all of the doctors that told us we were crazy to go out to LA and have this procedure done.  All my life I thought doctors were supposed to have the patient’s best interest in mind.  It never occurred to be that medicine was a business too.  I quickly came to realize that these doctors wanted my business.  They were never able to show me facts to back up there accusations on a lot of hype. 

I left for LA on Nov 14 and my surgery was scheduled for Nov 20th.  The moment I met Dr. Shahinan in the hallway outside of his office I knew I had made the right decision.  He was and is an amazing man.  He went over the procedure and explained everything to me with such concern and passion.  The office staff was nice and considerate as well.  We left his office ready to face the surgery with 100% confidence. 

The morning of my surgery I was at the hospital at 5:45am and before I know it I was having an IV put in and off to sleep.  The last thing I remember was hearing angelic like music over the loud speakers and then waking up.  My surgery was 6 hours long and the doctor said it was larger then they thought and very sticky.  My husband was called every hour and given an update. He was so thankful for this as it gave him something to look forward to.  My husband said when Dr Shahinian came out of surgery it was if he was floating he was so happy.  He said I woke up and was smiling perfectly.  One of the concerns with surgery is facial paralysis which I had none of not even a dry eye.  Soon I was in ICU recovering and sleeping.  I did get sick form the anesthesia but that was expected.  I was up and walking the next day and out of the hospital by Wednesday.  Dr Shahinian came to see me everyday to see how I was doing he always had a smile on his face and answered any questions me or my husband had. 

As of today I feel great. I had headaches the first week but by the second week I learned to take my Tylenol more consistently.  I never took anything stronger then Tylenol which is pretty amazing to me.  People can't believe how well I am doing especial when I tell them I just had brain surgery. 

When I went back to my ENT in Michigan to have my staples removed he still was not convinced I made the right decision.  In fact he said he still wished I hadn't gone to LA.  I wanted to ask him how many AN patients he seen two weeks post op walk into his office with no help, no headache and a smile on their face.  Oh well you can't win them all.  I know everyone who has chosen SBI may not have the same story but I told myself if this worked out I would let people know about Dr Shahinian and my experience. 

Being diagnosed with a tumor is devastating to say the least but the good news is its benign and it’s not a death sentence.  I had many people praying for me and my faith has grown leaps and bounds since through this whole experience.  I feel as if I am one of the lucky ones.  I know God doesn't give you more then you can handle and he chose me to go through this valley so I could see the mountain top.  I honestly wouldn't change this experience.  I know that may sound crazy but I have learned so much about myself, my family and my relationship with God.  I am here for anyone who wants to talk or needs someone to pray for them.  May God Bless all of you and the decisions you make.  Remember it is ultimately in Gods hands.  Sara
Diagnosed October 20,2006
5cm AN Whopper Sticky like Glue
Tumors Name - Ted
Surgery date November 20, 2006
Skull Base Institute
Dr Shahinian
Scripture - Philippians 4:6-9


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 985
Re: SBI and Dr Shahinian
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2006, 07:26:57 am »
Hello Sara:

Congrats to you!!  Going with your gut feeling is what it is all about.  I am so very glad you have had such a good outcome.

Kathy - Age 54
2.5 cm translab May '04
University of Minnesota - Minneapolis
Dr. Sam Levine - Dr. Stephen Haines


  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 158
Re: SBI and Dr Shahinian
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2006, 02:35:11 pm »
     Thanks for sharing your story with us. I have been reading this forum since I found out that I have a 3.2cm AN back in Sept.06. I haven't really posted till now. I needed to hear a good outcome. Really in the dumps today. My church started a prayer blanket for me  and presented it during services this morning. They had asked everyone to tie a ribbon on it, say a prayer and sign their name. It really got me very emotional and upset to know how much people care.  I know everyone's outcome can't come out like yours did but it give hope to the ones that haven't had the surgery yet like myself. Im 46 yrs old ,from Mississippi and plan to make the trip to Los Angeles in 3 weeks on Jan. 4 and let Dr. Brackmann from House Ear Institute perform the surgery.Thanks again for sharing your outcome with us and  I hope you continue to do great!  Ellis
« Last Edit: December 10, 2006, 02:38:21 pm by 1wareagle »
Ellis- Age 50- Mississippi
3.2 cm AN Translab w/ BAHA Surgery
@ House Ear Clinic - LA - 01/04/07    Dr. Brackmann, Dr. Hilselberger, Dr. Stefan
Platinum weight in right eye-Dr. Roberts
Right side facial paralysis (slowly getting movements)


  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 207
  • grade 4 left AN
    • Killkuato Acoustic Dx and Tx
Re: SBI and Dr Shahinian
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2007, 12:22:37 pm »
Sharon, thanks for calling me in LA 1 day before my operation. It really instilled hope.
I'm still pissed at the Brotman for playing Gregorian chant Monks Music in the OR prep room! haha!

Shahinian is great!
5cm left AN from IAC to cerebellum/brainstem.
Zapped out by Shahinian @ SBI over the course of 6.5 hrs on Monday 11/27 2006.   h   biologyfly06