Dr recommendations needed

I returned yesterday from a trip to see Dr Gardner at UPMC in Pittsburgh. I had MVD surgery there 4.5 years ago with Dr Horowitz for IX, X, and V nerves. Unfortunately my symptoms have returned, so I went back seeking help. Basically I was told that he can’t help me. (Dr Horowitz is no longer there.)

So, I have two questions.

  1. How many of you have had to have multiple surgeries?

  2. Can anyone recommend a good Nerurologist and/or Neurosurgeon in the East Tennessee region. (I’m willing to drive - shoot it was 12 hrs oneway to Pittsburgh!)


I live in the Atlanta area and am also exploring options. What was your opinion of Dr. Gardner as he has been recommended to me. I would have an even longer drive and would be concerned about having surgery so far away.

Hmm, how to answer this? Please take into account that I did NOT get a favorable outcome from my visit with Dr Gardner.

Dr Gardner was professional, but I did not feel like he explained some of the things he had issues with very clearly. I felt like he was unaware of some of the things pertaining to my condition which I had learned through doing cursory research. His PA did an exam and series of questions first then he followed up with his own questions and examination. I think we were there for approximately 40 mins between both of them.

I’m not sure how it would be now, but when I had surgery there 4.5 years ago I was very well taken care of. We drove up one day, had pre-op visits the next, and surgery the following day. My surgery was the day before Thanksgiving and I was concerned about my husband being essentially alone, but we stayed at Family House and they had Thanksgiving Dinner.

Family House is a wonderful resource; affordable room ($60/day) with access to kitchen including storage privileges, computer room/wi-fi, living rooms, laundry room, and free shuttle to the various hospitals. They do a large number of transplants at UPMC so some people are there for as long as 18 months. After my two nights in hospital I was released to my husband at Family House until my post-op appointment. Due to my insurance, I had my surgery across the river at St Margaret which is an older hospital, but they took very good care of me.

If you do decide to go there for your surgery, I would not worry about being so far away. They do a wonderful job of taking care of the non-medical needs for those who have travelled.

My only recommendation would be if you know that you are prone to sinus infections or something similar, have your Primary Care Dr write a prescription for antibiotics you can fill and have with you just in case you need it. I ended up needing some after the IV antibiotics were finished and was told by the nurses in the hospital that my primary care Dr had to take care of that for me.

Good Luck!

Why won’t they do anything for you at UPMC??? How upsetting! Can you try to see Dr Horowitz? He is at Butler Memorial in Pittsburgh. I also had a great experience at UPMC for my surgery in 2012. Dr Horowitz and Lois and everyone was fabulous.

I honestly don’t know why, he said the surgery should work if it’s going to work. If the symptoms return then the chances of success with a second surgery go down significantly and then if it’s successful the chances of it being permanent are only 50%.
This is why I posted my original question, because I know from looking on this site that there are some that have had multiple surgeries.
Honestly, I have a theory that the whole surgery is not really necessary this time. If they would just open a hole in my skull again, I would be good until it fills back and grows rigid again. That probably makes me sound crazy though or like too simple of a solution.
Perhaps I need to go see Dr Horowitz again. I was really hoping that someone would know of someone good closer to home. It was a 12 hour drive one way to Pittsburgh and a major financial hardship for us.

I am an RN and I absolutely know surgeons hate doing a surgery when another surgeon had previously done the same area …they really hate it. Of course we are talking about just regular type surgeries not neurosurgery, but I wonder if the same pertains here. A second surgery in the same area always comes with special issues. That’s why I think you would have better luck at least consulting he with dr Horowitz. I would not think having someone else would be in your best interest. I understand the hardship of it well, although not as far away as you (we are 7 hours) , we had to stay out there for
almost 2 weeks. Please keep us updated.

Thank you Laura, I had not thought about that possibility. Definitely something to think about. I’m trying to get my records from UPMC, they denied my first request.

Denied??? They can’t do that.