Being in one of the largest medical centers in the world, you think it wouldn't be that hard to find someone to TREAT someone...
Biggest lessons learned during my Doctor shuffle experience from hell...Hopefully this helps someone else.
Houston Doctors - My experiences, My opinions
- Find out if they TREAT TOS before you start down the testing/diagnostic path.
- If they only do surgery, but are not willing to treat conservatively, go to someone else first. Why would you want to see someone to cut who isn't willing to try other possibilities first. This obviously doesn't apply if you have tried everything else and are ready for surgery.
- A doctor who could actually treat you conservatively may not want to pick up after you have seen a dozen other doctors. It's a lot of work for them that they won't get paid for (trying to read through/interpret all the other testing).
- And on that note... if your like me and you've been to other doctors who WOULD NOT treat you, only give the potential new doctor the minimum of information. Don't go in with a 1" stack of your medical record. Yes, give them the test results that led to the diagnosis and info on symptoms, etc. Just don't tell him every doctor you saw who did nothing for you or were only willing to do surgery but not treat you. Don't let them think you're just hopping around doctors for no reason.
Lee Pollack - Neurologist - 281-367-1388
- Understood TOS
- almost wouldn't treat me since I've been shuffled from doctor to doctor. Felt that one of the MANY doctors I've seen should have taken responsibility for my treatment (I agree, but it's not my fault they either wouldn't or only wanted to cut.
- He agreed to treat me after I started crying and explaining how they either didn't know anything about TOS (family physician), referred me off to someone else and didn't want to treat me anymore (orthopedic surgeon), or ONLY wanted to do surgery (ALL others I've seen)
- even considering the issue of almost not treating me, I like him better than any other doctor I've seen. He clearly understands TOS, was able to refer me to a PT that understands TOS and isn't eager to cut. He answered questions I've had since day one that noone would or could answer.
Dr. Azizzadeh - vascular surgeon - Memorial Herman
- Understood TOS
- He's a surgeon... Ready to cut - not treat
- Didn't tell me anything about surgery outcome results. Told me "well if we need to do the surgery, we do the surgery... (like not that big of a deal). The outcome results I've read don't paint that rosy of a picture that it's not that big of a deal.
Dr. Noon - vascular surgeon - Baylor
- Mail him your tests and he'll review
- does not treat - just does surgery
- Since I want some form of conservative treatment before surgery, I didn't persue seeing him any further
KSF Orthopedic - Dr. Kant
- Willing to look at the whole person instead of just a piece (only knee or only ankle)
- Willing to run whatever tests (if you ask). Did not run my MRI until I told him vascular surgeon wanted it done. Found I have a bad C5-6 disk that is compounding my problems. Wouldn't have known if I hadn't told him how to treat me.
- After diagnosing me, he referred me off. One visit told me to go to a vascular surgeon. Next visit told me that I should start going to my primary doctor for my prescription refills from now on and he'd even send a letter to my family dr about my medication. --- In otherwords, go away, I don't want to treat you anymore!
KSF Orthopedic - Dr Nash - Neurologist
- Performed EMG/NCV. Didn't see find anything.
- 2nd emg/ncv done by another neurologist did find minor ulnar nerve damage.
- Just does the test - doesn't treat.
KSF Orthopedic - Dr. Jafarnia
- Doesn't treat TOS. Couldn't diagnose me.
- Referred me to Dr. Azzizadah (who I didn't like) if I needed to investigate whether I had TOS.
- Said Dr. Azzizadeh is the only dr in Houston that REALLY treats TOS (which he obviously isn't)
KSF Orthopedic PT department
- Improve posture via streghtening exercises (weights/therabands)
- Dr. Sanders said later that this isn't the right type of PT... that it could make symptoms worse
- PT seemed to be googling his way through my treatment. One day he did first rib mobilization in one area and the next he was pressing in a totally different area. One had to have been wrong.
- Suspected I had a bad disk but never said anything like "hey you should have Dr, Kant do an MRI" or "hey I suspect...". After my MRI, he said "yea I wondered about that"
Dr. Killian - Neurologist - Baylor College of Medicine
- Very thorough EMG/NCV
- No clue about TOS - diagnosed me with unspecified abnormality at ulnar nerve and said he didn't think my TOS is neurological.
- Doesn't treat - only performs the tests
Dr. Kline - LSU
- Referred me to Dr. Kim - Baylor Houston
Dr. Kim - Director of Neurosurgery - Baylor Houston
- Understood TOS. Gave me outcome statistics on TOS surgery (matched what I have read other places)
- Was ready to cut. When I asked about conservative treatment - other PT??, ANYTHING - he said it looked like I've already tried that and it didn't work.
- Asked about bad c5-6 disk that showed up in my MRI - he said "everyone has bad disks - lets focus on the TOS first then we'll go back and look at the neck/partially torn rotator cuff after if needed"
- Next visit I asked him if he could actually LOOK at my MRI (since noone had except the radiologist). No, he didn't bother looking at my MRI during my first visit.
- After looking at MRI - He said I needed a discectomy... that removing the bad disk should be the priority and not the TOS.
- Asked about conservative treatment for bad cervical disc. He said I shouldn't wait another 6 months to have the surgery. Didn't want me to try epidural steroid injection because "that isn't without it's own risks"....... Well it may have risks but it's less invasive than surgery!
- After my 2nd exam, I was asking the nurse about anything else I could try (she was ready to schedule my surgery and was asking me when I wanted to have it done). Dr. Kim came back in and said I could TRY traction for 2-4 weeks and see if that helped.
- Overall impression - good if you are ready for surgery. Happy to cut. Not eager to consider conservative treatment.
Dr. Huynh - Vascular Surgeon - Baylor
- Not impressed. Appeared "wishy-washy". Said "well if Dr. Kim is ready to do surgery without any further testing... ok"
SO... my choice of Houston doctors.... Dr. Lee Pollack.
But try him first, not after you've been shuffled all over town.
Hopefully this can help some others out there before you get shuffled around too, cause that sucks almost as much as having TOS in the first place.