Lordylordy wrote:Everyone here seems very set on getting second opinions. It makes a lot of sense. But, what if you doctor is Dr. Kemeny, do you still get another opinion and from who??
It might have been nothing, but Scott had gotten her thyroid removed a few months earlier, so the pair had been keeping an especially close eye on anything that might have indicated a complication. Balzer pestered his wife to get an MRI, and when she finally agreed, the scan revealed a mass inside her skull, a three-centimeter tumor lodged behind her left eye. They were understandably terrified, but neurologists who read the radiology report seemed unconcerned, explaining that such masses were common among women, and suggested Scott have it checked again in a year.
That didn’t sit well with Balzer. Scott’s recent thyroid surgery had taught them that getting the best care requires being proactive and extremely well informed. A typical thyroid removal is performed via a large incision across the throat that requires a long, uncomfortable recovery and leaves a big scar, but when he and Scott began looking for alternatives, they discovered that she could avoid all that if they traveled from their home in California to the Center for Robotic Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. There, surgeons perform delicate procedures with a robotic arm that scales down their movements, making them smaller and more precise than what the human hand is capable of alone. The experience familiarized Balzer and Scott with both the cutting edge of medical technology and the importance of doing their own research. So although the first doctors told them to wait, Balzer and Scott sent the MRI results to a handful of neurologists around the country. Nearly all of them agreed that Scott needed surgery.
Balzer downloaded a free software program called InVesalius, developed by a research center in Brazil to convert MRI and CT scan data to 3D images. He used it to create a 3D volume rendering from Scott’s DICOM images, which allowed him to look at the tumor from any angle. Then he uploaded the files to Sketchfab and shared them with neurosurgeons around the country in the hope of finding one who was willing to try a new type of procedure. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he found the doctor he was looking for at UPMC, where Scott had her thyroid removed. A neurosurgeon there agreed to consider a minimally invasive operation in which he would access the tumor through Scott’s left eyelid and remove it using a micro drill. Balzer had adapted the volume renderings for 3D printing and produced a few full-size models of the front section of Scott’s skull on his MakerBot. To help the surgeon vet his micro drilling idea and plan the procedure, Balzer packed up one of the models and shipped it off to Pittsburgh.
Scott had the tumor removed at UPMC in May 2014 through a small opening above her left eye. The neurosurgeon discovered that the tumor was starting to entangle her optic nerves, and told her that if she had waited six months, she would have had severe, and possibly permanent, degradation of her sight. The procedure took eight hours and 95% of the tumor was removed. She was back at work in three weeks. Her scars, Balzer says, are visible only to her.
lentini66 wrote:I saw Dr. Kemeny at SK for a 2nd opinion at the urging of people in my family. By the time I saw her I already had the Stage 3c tumor removed and wanted to be sure that the chemo treatment that I was set to start in Denver, CO was what she would do. She explained that there are some very standard treatment protocols and that the Folfox, that was recommended was the standard and that she wouldn't do anything differently.
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