Anna and Kitty,Good for you
both advocating for your husbands!
I had surgery in August and ordered information booklets from the ANA after
I got home from hospital. In hindsight I wish I had ordered these and read these before
Here is the link. The booklets are not
expensive and arrived within the week I ordered these (within the USA)https://secure.baxinternet.com/~anausa/for_sale.html
I recommend that you obtain more than one
opinion. Some neurotologists have more experience than others. You will realize this after a few interviews...You only want one with lots of experience!
Here is a list of surgeons that have met the criteria to be on the list with the ANAhttp://www.anausa.org/physician_list.html
Here is a good list of interview questions to start with.http://www.anausa.org/questions_for_physicians.html
I chose surgeon #8 of the 9 I interviewed. He and his partner shone and it was obvious in how my questions were answered (and his background checks) that he was going to be exemplary to work with. (And he was!)Not only is it important that you chose a skilled surgeon but also someone that you are comfortable working with
and you know will be honest, sincere and upfront with youÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ and truly has the best interests of "the patient" at heart.
Although I did not go to House Ear ClinicÃ¢â‚¬Â¦http://www.houseearclinic.com/acousticneuroma.htm
Ã¢â‚¬Â¦for my final choice I did fly there for consultation. I have to tell you I was incredibly impressed
with Dr. Derald Brackmann there. http://www.hei.org/news/bios/brackmann.htm
He has removed more
acoustic neuroma tumors than any other surgeon in the world
. I understand now (after the fact
) that you can send copies of you MRI there (HEI) and they will speak with you over the phone
. Dr. Brackmann is also a medical advisor for the Acoustic Neuroma Association. He is moving up in age (however still very spy) and you may want to ask his expertise before he decides to retire from the field.
It is very important to understand that Ã¢â‚¬Å“sizeÃ¢â‚¬? is not
the only consideration. AN tumors are sort of like real estate Ã¢â‚¬Å“Location. Location. LocationÃ¢â‚¬? Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ and some people (even those with larger tumors have various options to choose from (I did not
have the radiation options as mine was too big and already pressing the brainstem.) Remember that typically Acoustic Neuroma tumors are NOT fast growing
Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ so do not let any
surgeon pressure you into abrupt decision making. You DO have time to weigh out ALL your options, research various medical institutions and interview a variety of surgeons. Find out from your medical insurance how many opinions you can
Also know that this resource is availablehttp://www.healthgrades.com/
I thought this was money well spent- particularly when I discover that one surgeon (team) I was seriously considering had multiple
malpractice suits Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ not to mention the least accurate on my tumorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s (final) pathology prognosis. You want to know ALL this information before you go in for treatment. It will also give you a rating on the hospital the surgeon(s) works at - for neurosurgery etc.
There are success stories for both surgery and radiation. Often those folks move on in their lives Ã¢â‚¬Â¦leaving their AN stories behind. We do not always hear from them on the forum hereÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
It is also important to plan a surgery time that best works for your family and support system.
Here is a good link I found on post-op hospital discharge expectations put out by the Acoustic Neuroma Association of Canadahttp://www.anac.ca/en/dischargeTreatment.shtmlInformation is powerÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
just try not get to overwhelmed by it all at once. Educated yourself (and your family) so that you can all make good an informed decisionsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ and can plan life accordingly. Having a good support net-work of caring and understanding people is key for post treatment recovery. Some do not always have that in their personal lives but DO find support here on the forum. There are also ANA support groups in various geographical locations that meet in person. Once one joins the ANA (as I did 2+ months post op) then all the information of resources available in your location are sent to you. In hindsight I should have joined the ANA Ã¢â‚¬Å“beforeÃ¢â‚¬?
Keep moving forward!