I saw Dr. Ahn today.
After a review of my history and a brief physical exam, he believes this is TOS. After just a few minutes with him I felt that he is ahead of the curve vs. the other surgeons in this area. Here is why:
- He stated that he has now done over 1000 TOS surgeries to date!
- He stated that he and Sheldon Jordan no longer use the scalene block or Doppler ultrasound for diagnostics due to false negatives (I had a negative scalene block in 2010). Instead he uses fluoroscopic balloon angioplasty to image where compression is taking place as well as decompress those areas temporarily. It made a hell of a lot of sense to me.
- He no longer holds a preferred surgical approach but plans surgery based on the angiogram. He also stated he does not always take the rib either if it is not necessary. He didn't want to talk specific details about surgical procedures until after the angiogram. I really like this vs. what I thought I knew about TOS surgery in my prior research.
My angiogram is scheduled for 4 weeks from now (hopefully, earlier if there is a cancellation). My pain is no different, but I feel better about my outlook and that has helped me feel better overall.
If you are on the fence about Dr. Ahn or are even pursuing conservative treatment options, I highly recommend you consult Dr. Ahn. I am convinced that everyone should have the fluoroscopic balloon angioplasty before going into surgery with any surgeon. Ahn's bedside manner may be relatively cold and clinical, but he sure seems to know what he is doing.
On a side note, UCLA still hasn't gotten back to me regarding the tests and follow up Gelabert ordered.