Just to play devil’s advocate...Not every excellent/skilled/capable surgeon chooses to practice at a major teaching hospital (many choose to live and work in smaller communities for the same reasons the rest of us do)...but then again not every board-certified colorectal surgeon is equally capable. If you trust your oncologist and/or primary care provider, ask them what they would do if they were in your situation. In my case, I was fortunate to have a truly wonderful colorectal surgeon locally so I didn’t feel the need to travel to Baltimore (based on my research I would have opted to go to Hopkins over MSK, MDA, or Mayo...even though Mayo is closer). I really appreciated being close to family and friends when I recovered, and it was reassuring to know that I could easily pop into the clinic for a follow up visit whenever necessary.
You have to do whatever feels right to you, but traveling across the continent doesn’t always guarantee a better outcome and can make life very difficult if you experience even minor post op complications. Good luck no matter what you decide to do!
Dx 12/2014 T3N2MX (iliac nodes) low rectal
12/2014-4/2015: FOLFOX (8 cycles)
4/2015-6/2015: 28 cycles of chemoradiation with xeloda
8/2015: Robotic APR with iliac node dissection; path showed ypT0,ypN0 (complete pathological response).
11/2015 scans clear, CEA 2.1
11/2015 parastomal hernia repair
3/2016 CEA 1.7
10/2017 CEA remains in normal range (1.4), scans stable.
6/2018 CEA still normal.
Totally disabled due to oxaliplatin induced neuropathy and dysautonomia