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in treatment but looking for best surgeon

joymitch
Posts: 16
Joined: Dec 2012

Hi All, This is my first time posting to this site. My husband, Paul, was diagnosed with Stage II T3NO EC in October 2012. We live in South Jersey and he is currently being treated with chemo and radiation at Fox Chase Cancer Center in PA. Treatment is scheduled to end January 4. The surgeon at Fox Chase, Dr. Walter Scott, performs about 30 MIE esophageal surgeries per year. We are trying to decide whether to stay at Fox Chase (1 hour from our home), travel to Dr. Luketich in Pittsburgh, PA, or go to MD Anderson in Houston, TX. Both of those places now have Paul's medical records. We would appreciate hearing from anyone with opinions on these three places. Our concerns about going to MD Anderson or Pittsburgh are: how long would we need to stay in the area and after we return home, could Paul be seen by a "local" surgeon for follow up? As a caregiver to Paul, is it important that I need to be near my family and friends for support? We do have a large family and lots of additional support through our church family. If we are away from home, will it be difficult for me to prepare food for Paul following surgery? I thank you for any guidance you have for us. May God bless all of you on your EC journey. Joyce

JanBred
Posts: 42
Joined: Jul 2012

I had my Ivor-Lewis surgery done in Rochester MN. in August. I didn't follow up with my surgeon from Mayo, but a good Dr. in area. Mayo didn't have a problem with that, and my local Dr. kept them posted. Length of hospital stay all depends. I didn't go into ICU after surgery, just to 6th floor, and I was on heavy meds for three days. I hope Paul has a J-tube so he can get nourishment--something to ask your surgeon. It won't be difficult for you to prepare food, as the hospital should give you a list of foods he may be able to eat after surgery. God Bless--Happy Holidays.. Jan

Amjosmom's picture
Amjosmom
Posts: 231
Joined: Jun 2012

That's what I hear anyway. You could send your records to him and he could probably decide what is best for you both.

Here is the address for UPMC -

Dr. James Luketich/Chuck Hileman/Angela Gallagher
Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery
UPMC PUH Suite C-800
200 Lothrop St.
Pittsburgh PA, 15213

Best wishes!! Keep us posted.
~Jayme

flmo's picture
flmo
Posts: 72
Joined: Jan 2011

I would recommend Dr. Luketich at UPMC. My husband had MIE surgery in Feb. 2011. We were very pleased with the care he received there. We flew from SW Florida to Pittsburgh. We were there for close to 3 weeks. We stayed at one of what they call Family Houses. They offer private rooms with bath and a communal kitchen and large gathering room. It turned out to be a wonderful place. The family house offered a lot of support while away from home. After surgery, the staff tells you what you can and can't eat. You can prepare meals in the kitchen. Dr. Luketich likes to see his patients in Pittsburgh for the first follow up. We did that and now go to a local doctor for checkups. If you have any questions about Dr. Luketich and UPMC, I'd be happy to try to answer them. You may know that Dr. Luketich has done well over 1000 MIE's which is the main reason we chose to go there.

flmo's picture
flmo
Posts: 72
Joined: Jan 2011

I would recommend Dr. Luketich at UPMC. My husband had MIE surgery in Feb. 2011. We were very pleased with the care he received there. We flew from SW Florida to Pittsburgh. We were there for close to 3 weeks. We stayed at one of what they call Family Houses. They offer private rooms with bath and a communal kitchen and large gathering room. It turned out to be a wonderful place. The family house offered a lot of support while away from home. After surgery, the staff tells you what you can and can't eat. You can prepare meals in the kitchen. Dr. Luketich likes to see his patients in Pittsburgh for the first follow up. We did that and now go to a local doctor for checkups. If you have any questions about Dr. Luketich and UPMC, I'd be happy to try to answer them. You may know that Dr. Luketich has done well over 1000 MIE's which is the main reason we chose to go there.

joymitch
Posts: 16
Joined: Dec 2012

Thank you for the information on Dr. Luketich. I would like to contact you offline; however, I am new to this site and don't know how. Joymitch

FlorenceNightin...
Posts: 9
Joined: Oct 2012

Just happened to be checking in on this site tonight and see that you are conflicted about choice of a good Thoracic Surgeon.  While I don't read this site regularly as much as I once did, I do know that Dr. Luketich is spoken of most highly as the pioneer of the Minimally Invasive Ivor Lewis Esophagectomy.  Would concur wholeheartedly with both "Amjosmom" and "flmo".  As for contacting "flmo" privately, you can do so.  On the left hand side of your screen, there is a topic in the section with red letters "CSN Email".  If you click on that heading, it provides a place for addressing people in a more private manner.  You can then send a private e-mail to anyone posting here.  Often they exchange personal regular e-mails and phone numbers and keep up with each other on an even more personal basis.  Hope this helps.

 

"Flo"

joymitch
Posts: 16
Joined: Dec 2012

Thank you for the information Flo. I have contacted flmo and have heard back from her.  Looking more and more like we will go to Dr. Luketich who is a 6 hour car drive from our home although MD Anderson is still in the mix.  Dr. Luketich's office has been in touch with me several times answering all my questions so I am establishing a relationship with them.  Paul and I will probably drive out to Pittsburgh at the end of January to see the facility and meet the staff.  May God bless you with a wonderful 2013!  Joyce

flmo's picture
flmo
Posts: 72
Joined: Jan 2011

I would recommend Dr. Luketich at UPMC. My husband had MIE surgery in Feb. 2011. We were very pleased with the care he received there. We flew from SW Florida to Pittsburgh. We were there for close to 3 weeks. We stayed at one of what they call Family Houses. They offer private rooms with bath and a communal kitchen and large gathering room. It turned out to be a wonderful place. The family house offered a lot of support while away from home. After surgery, the staff tells you what you can and can't eat. You can prepare meals in the kitchen. Dr. Luketich likes to see his patients in Pittsburgh for the first follow up. We did that and now go to a local doctor for checkups. If you have any questions about Dr. Luketich and UPMC, I'd be happy to try to answer them. You may know that Dr. Luketich has done well over 1000 MIE's which is the main reason we chose to go there.

flmo's picture
flmo
Posts: 72
Joined: Jan 2011

I would recommend Dr. Luketich at UPMC. My husband had MIE surgery in Feb. 2011. We were very pleased with the care he received there. We flew from SW Florida to Pittsburgh. We were there for close to 3 weeks. We stayed at one of what they call Family Houses. They offer private rooms with bath and a communal kitchen and large gathering room. It turned out to be a wonderful place. The family house offered a lot of support while away from home. After surgery, the staff tells you what you can and can't eat. You can prepare meals in the kitchen. Dr. Luketich likes to see his patients in Pittsburgh for the first follow up. We did that and now go to a local doctor for checkups. If you have any questions about Dr. Luketich and UPMC, I'd be happy to try to answer them. You may know that Dr. Luketich has done well over 1000 MIE's which is the main reason we chose to go there.

flmo's picture
flmo
Posts: 72
Joined: Jan 2011

I would recommend Dr. Luketich at UPMC. My husband had MIE surgery in Feb. 2011. We were very pleased with the care he received there. We flew from SW Florida to Pittsburgh. We were there for close to 3 weeks. We stayed at one of what they call Family Houses. They offer private rooms with bath and a communal kitchen and large gathering room. It turned out to be a wonderful place. The family house offered a lot of support while away from home. After surgery, the staff tells you what you can and can't eat. You can prepare meals in the kitchen. Dr. Luketich likes to see his patients in Pittsburgh for the first follow up. We did that and now go to a local doctor for checkups. If you have any questions about Dr. Luketich and UPMC, I'd be happy to try to answer them. You may know that Dr. Luketich has done well over 1000 MIE's which is the main reason we chose to go there.

flmo's picture
flmo
Posts: 72
Joined: Jan 2011

This website is slow today and I guess i hit my reply too mnay times.

cache22
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2011

Dr. Hofstetter at M.D. Anderson pulled me through. He, and everyone else on the staff ( of 17,000) were excellent. They also have a proton radiation machine, which targets only the cancerous cells, and by-passes your other tissues.

dsmasters
Posts: 22
Joined: Nov 2009

I had an excelent surgeon from MD Anderson in houston. Her name is Shanda Blackmon MD. I had an Ivor Lewis esophagetemy from a different surgeon in Austin, TX in July 2010 which led to a persistent stricture. I suffered for almost a year until I got a consult with Dr. Blackmon. A month after my consult I had a Supercharged Jejunum Esophagetemy and was released from the hospital 10 days after surgery. That was over a year ago and I have not had any issues (or cancer!) since then. 

Here is her Linkedin page:

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/shanda-blackmon-md-mph-facs/2b/106/83b

joymitch
Posts: 16
Joined: Dec 2012

I want to thank everyone for the wonderful comments, thoughts and prayers for my husband Paul's Stage II EC.  After much research and consideration of many excellent facilities, we decided to stay relatively local and have the surgery at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, PA.  Dr. Walter Scott performed the 10 hour surgery on February 19 with no complications, Paul has had a complete response to the treatments/surgery with no remaining cancer cells.  Paul was able to come home on February 27 with a J tube.  He is doing so well and we are so thankful!  May God bless all of you on your continuing journey with this horrible disease.  Joyce

jaycc
Posts: 131
Joined: Jul 2012

Joymitch,

Good to hear Paul is home. I'm send you a private message. Please don't feel you have to respond, I know life is a rollacoaster right now. My hsuband was at FC for 10 months.

jaycc
Posts: 131
Joined: Jul 2012

Sorry for the extra message. Just in case. to read private email. click on CSN email on the left hand side of the screen.

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