Dr. James Robinson was my neurosurgeon who removed my AN in June of 2002. He originally diagnoised it as an epedermoid cyst. I was told by DR. Robinson on APRIL 15 2002 "You have a brain tumor and it needs to come out as soon as possible" We arranged for the surgery about 6 weeks later on June 2, 2002. I was left with total deafness on my left side. I had chronic pain after surgery and continued to complain to him about the "Ice PIck "stabbing pain" his response was always the same, you shouldn't have pain this far after surgery. Finally in December of 2002 I went back to my primary doctor and complained of the chronic pain. I went back to Dr. Robinson on Jan. 3 2003 continuing to complain about the pain. I told him my job performance was suffering due to the contstant pain. He asked me what I was taking for the pain and I told him my primary doctor had put me on Percocet. He said" I don't like treatimg pain with a narcotic" I said "OK", he then said I will show you out. As we walked to the receptionist station I asked him " What about the pain?" There in front of the receptionist and other patients who could see from the waiting room, he said in a mean tone" Where is the pain again?" I showed him and he started pushing on the spot very hard and said maybe we can get the insurance co. to pay for some injections, meaning nerve block injections" His staff made an appointment that was 4 weeks out, and the day before my appointment they called to say they didn't accept my insurance. I had to find another Pain Management Doctor that took my insurance which took another two weeks. The first injection was great and I was pain free for 60 hours then it was back. subsequent injection did no good. He sent me prior to surgery to be evaluated by Dr. Bradley Kesser, at Piedmont ENT. He was the surgeon that assisted Dr. D Robinson on his surgeries, he indicated after evaluation that he would be happy to assist Dr. Robinson if requested. Keep in mind my tumor was incorrectly identitfied as an epedermopid cyst. Not much info, at least at that time on the internet on that type of tumor. I had great belief in Dr. Robinson and the surgery went forward. However he did not ask Dr Kesser to assist. Only after surgery was I advised is was an AN and that I was deaf in the left ear. Not until I started vestabular rehab in February of 2003, almost nine months after surgery did I Learn about the acoustic neuroma association and the questions to ask prior to surgery. After reading at the AN site, that Doctor experience was key to successful surgery and one should look for Doctors that perform 100 or so a year, I asked How many were done at Piedmont Hospital, and was told 4-6 per year. I was stunned to think that I was so niave that I didn't get a second opinion. That I relied on the fact that he was the head of Neuro Surgery for Piedmont, that I had faith in him. He never recognized my pain on any visit and never mentioned the support of the AN society. I followed up after my comppany of 25 years told me that my performance had fallen considerably since surgery and to explore disability. I sent him a two page letter explaining the situation and requested an appointment to see him, his staff called back and said they had received the letter and made the appointment. When he came into the examining room (March 2003) he asked what he could do for me. I told him I continued to have stabbing pain and wanted to discuss the letter I sent him. He hadn't even read it and looked dumb founded. I gave him a copy and we discussed it, His comment was, "you know there are alot of people worse off than you, all I can do is tell the insurance company you have compalined of constant pain since surgery". I had also sent a similar letter to my primary doctor who treated me for years prior to the surgey. He said, if it is affecting your employment that much he would support it. Here it is almost 5 years since surgery and I am still on disability due to the chronic pain, vertigo, balance problems, depression ect. I contacted his office last year when I was advised to see a neurosurgeon for further evaluation, I called Dr. Robinson's office, explained the situation on his recorder and was never contacted. He may be a good surgeon, but lacks much in bedside manors. If I were to do it again I would definintly seek a second opinion from one of the major east/west coast hospitals that do a lot more AN Surgeries that Dr. Robinson. I would also ask him how many AN surgeries he has done and wh he recommend the retrosigmoid approach over others and ask permision to talk to some of his patients. He was a guest speaker at a follow-up AN Support meeting. His office
called to ask if I was going to attend/ I told them yes, he showed various MRI'S on the overhead and then indicated there was a couple of unusual cases, and there was my MRI with my name still legible and readable after he had placed masking tape over it. I have not talked to him since that meeting. I have tried 77 different medications for the pain, vertigo and depression. Have tried the TENS unit, physical therapy on my neck, vestabular rehab, and accupuncture by two different doctors. I Have tried Neurontin at 4000mg per day, dilaudid, tegrtol, Morphine sul, Methadone, and back to the Percocet. I was also evaluated at Emory Hospitals Dizzyness and Balance center and told once the pain became manageable, I should try there vestabular rehab program. Get a second opinion from any doctor you are considering for your own sake.