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Can anyone recoment personal experience w/surgeon in NYC?

lady105
Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2010

My husband was just diagnosed. Pulmonologist is sure cancer diag from cat scan. Pet scan done, no spreading, bronchoscy done yesterday, bioposy results to follow. Will have all #'s back soon. Dr. says definately will operate. Lower right lung 2.5cm lower lobe.
Told Dr. Bain at Sloan is best in city, then Dr. Crawford @ NYU. Wld appreciate any experience anyone has had w/surgeons in NYC. (Pulmonoligist rec a Dr. Brenner @ Methodist here in Bklyn, but I feel a "city" hosp is always better for these type of things)

Thanks,
Jo Carol

catcon49's picture
catcon49
Posts: 388
Joined: Aug 2008

I am sorry you and your family have to go through this. Sounds similiar to what I had going on. I was stage 1a Lower right lobe remove via VATS Surgery. I called Sloane but couldn't even get an appointment. Also 3 years ago my best friend was dx with Stage IV Lung cancer, I call Sloane then, they wouldn't give us an appointment.Maybe you will have better luck getting in there. I hope you can. (try anyway, maybe I just got them at a bad time). Sloane advised me at the time that I should try University of Pennsylvania or Fox Chase Cancer Institute in Philadelphia. My surgeon was wonderful. Dr. Stacey Su, at the University of Pennsylvania.

I hope this helps in someway. Who ever you decide on ask questions, about the surgery if you are going to have it.

God Bless.

lady105
Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2010

thanks for your input. But what is VATS surgery?

Jo Carol

appleyellowgreen's picture
appleyellowgreen
Posts: 38
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi Jo Carol

My husband had surgery at Mt. Sinai hospital in 2005, but that surgeon has since returned to Boston and we followed him back there. His name is Scott Swanson and he is at Brigham and Women's.

In New York, I did a lot of research. Our oncologist is at Sloan - his name is Christopher Azzoli and he is first rate and very much a human being. My problem with Sloan Kettering is that it is very much a business. That said, Dr. Valerie Rausch (pronounced Roosh, like whoosh) is their top lung surgeon.

It doesn't sound to me like your husband has even been staged yet, and it may be way too early to decide who to see. If you are having VATS, video assisted thoracic surgery, your choices are different.

Per everyone I've ever spoken to, surgery is the best way to get rid of the cancer. Not chemo, not radiation or ablation. But you need to be wise in choosing your surgeon and your oncologist will help you there. I agree with you about getting out of Brooklyn for this.

I'll ask a friend of mine who had her surgery at Sloan who did her work and get back to you.

Good luck. You can alwlays write me on CSN Email to get me directly.

Apple/Adrienne

catcon49's picture
catcon49
Posts: 388
Joined: Aug 2008

VATS surgery is minimally invasive Thoractic surgery. (well as minimally invasive as it can be) Instead of being cut from shoulder blade to almost the waist ( I think) I have 3 small incisions. One is directly under the right breast, one is just under my arm pit. The other is from a drainage tube after surgery, just below the second incision. The recovery period is alot shorter.

Good Luck

legendsdaughter
Posts: 30
Joined: Dec 2009

Yes surgery could be the best way to get rid of the cancer but but I think when you are stage IV & the cancer is in your lymph nodes, both lungs, the pleura, near the spine & the adrenal
gland this is not an option. I also think surgery isn't an option when emphysema is present.You have to be able to heal from surgery.

EstherMSKCC
Posts: 20
Joined: Feb 2010

Dear Jo Carol,

I'm sorry to hear about your husband's diagnosis. I'm an employee at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and came across your post asking for recommendations for a lung cancer surgeon. I want to share some web site links and appointment information with you.

It’s important to seek a surgeon who specializes specifically in lung cancer surgery, so they have the expertise and experience to be extraordinarily precise in removing the cancer while sparing as much normal lung tissue and retaining as much lung function as possible. The surgeon’s experience is important because studies show that patients often have better outcomes when their operations are performed by surgeons who do a high volume of them.

In selected hospitals, surgeons may use minimally invasive surgical techniques such as video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS). VATS allows the surgeon to operate with robotic assistance by inserting an illuminated tube through a small incision between the ribs into the lung. Because these incisions are much smaller than those made during an open operation, postoperative healing time, pain, and duration of hospital stay are reduced. About 30% of our patients have the VATS procedure.

Here are some links to our web site that you might find helpful:

Lung Cancer (including information for newly diagnosed patients): http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/376.cfm

Team of lung cancer experts (doctors' bios listed by specialty): http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/12129.cfm

Making an appointment: http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/12126.cfm

Insurance Information: http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/11851.cfm

You might also be interested to attend the April 14 free CancerSmart lecture offering the latest information in lung cancer treatment:
http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/58341.cfm?EventView=details&EventType=&CategoryID=31&SelectedDate=04%2F13%2F2010&EventID=6463

I hope this information is helpful as you and your husband make treatment decisions

Our Patient Access Service will be happy to assist you in setting up a timely appointment with one of the thoracic surgeons here at Sloan-Kettering. Simply call 800-525-2225.

--Esther

SusieOH
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2010

My mother is being cared by Dr. Bryan Schneider at NY Presbyterian at Weill Cornell. He's bright, kind, patient, and understanding.

SusieOH
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2010

From what I understand, the most well known and skilled thoracic surgeon is the Dr. Nasser Altorki.

lady105
Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2010

Can anyone give me a personal recommendation on this doctor? I would love to hear from someone who he actually operated on.
Thanks,
Jo Carol

lady105
Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2010

We went to the pulmonologist this week and thought that wld have bioposy back from bronchoscpy. No luck. Dr. was not able to reach that far down to get a piece of the tissue where the spot is. So was Inclusive. Now off to interview surgeons, maybe they can give us some more info. I was sooo disappointed, i thought we would have stage, grade, etc by now, but might not know till actual surgery. Dr. say they will do frozen section on table.
We are seeing Dr. Crawford @ NYU and Dr. Altorki next week, then a local guy here in brooklyn, tues after this.
It's all getting dragged out and the anxiety is destroying w/my stomach!
Jo Carol

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